Andries van Dam

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Andries "Andy" van Dam (born 8 December 1938, Groningen) is a Dutch-born American professor of computer science and former Vice-President for Research at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Together with Ted Nelson he contributed to the first hypertext system, HES in the late 1960s. He co-authored Principles and Practice along with J.D. Foley, S.K. Feiner, and John Hughes. He also co-founded the precursor of today's ACM SIGGRAPH conference.

Andy serves on several technical boards and committees. He currently teaches an introductory course in computer science and courses in computer graphics at Brown University.


Andy has mentored undergraduates, other scholars, and practitioners in hypertext and computer graphics. One of his students was Randy Pausch, who gained national renown during his ultimately unsuccessful two-year fight with pancreatic cancer. Pausch's Last Lecture in September 2007 was the basis for the bestseller Last Lecture. Van Dam was the final speaker after the hour-plus talk. He praised Pausch for his courage and leadership, calling him a role model. Pausch died on July 25, 2008. Dick Bulterman and Andy Hertzfeld also were students of Andy van Dam.


Originally appointed as a professor of applied mathematics, he helped to found the computer science program at Brown as a joint project between the departments of applied mathematics and engineering. When the...
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