BIG THINKERS

A few incredible individuals are responsible for some of the biggest innovations. Learn about those who changed the world by thinking outside the box.
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What device did Douglas Engelbart invent?

If this were trivia night, your team could probably summon this answer without breaking a sweat. But in true polymath style, Engelbart's signature invention is only part of his computer genius. Meet him.

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  • 10 Nobel Laureates Whose Work Changed the World

    10 Nobel Laureates Whose Work Changed the World

    Sure, Nobel Prize winners get money, a medal and bragging rights, but the rest of us often benefit from their accomplishments, too. Meet 10 of these game-changing people. See more »

  • 5 Technologists Who Have Benefited Humankind

    5 Technologists Who Have Benefited Humankind

    Technology has paved the way for all sorts of changes in our world. These are five of the people behind some of the greatest technological changes to benefit humankind. See more »

  • How MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowships Work

    How MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowships Work

    Although the MacArthur Foundation never intended to promote them that way, the financial awards it doles out have come to be known as "genius" grants. How are the recipients chosen? See more »

  • What computer defeated a champion chess player?

    What computer defeated a champion chess player?

    Human beings seem to love building machines that can beat us at our own game -- sometimes literally. How can chess computers vanquish human chess masters -- and which machine was the first to do so? See more »

  • What device did Douglas Engelbart invent?

    What device did Douglas Engelbart invent?

    If this were trivia night, your team could probably summon this answer without breaking a sweat. But in true polymath style, Engelbart's signature invention is only part of his computer genius. Meet him. See more »

  • Who is the 'Mother of the Internet'?

    Who is the 'Mother of the Internet'?

    "Father of the Internet" is a term you might have heard, but does the Internet have a founding mother, too? Meet the engineer behind the moniker -- and find out what she thinks of the title. See more »

  • Who popularized the term 'virtual reality'?

    Who popularized the term 'virtual reality'?

    The concept of virtual reality is nothing new, but we bet you didn't know that a quirky, math-loving, dreadlocked dude is famous for coining the term. Meet Jaron Lanier. See more »

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