Mark Dean

February 1, 2011

Very Important People

Mark Dean

Few people have done more to spur the rapid technological evolution of computer science than the inventions of computer science. Born in Jefferson City, TN on March 2, 1957, Dean received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, a master’s in electrical engineering from Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. That educational background gave him the foundation to advance computer science at IBM, which he joined in 1980.

Throughout his 20-year career, Mark has held engineering positions in the area of computer system hardware architecture and design. He was chief engineer for the development of the IBM PCs, ISA systems bus, PS/2 Model 70 & 80, the Color Graphics Adapter, and several subsystems. He also established the strategy, architecture, design and business plan for video server offerings.

Dean led scientific teams who developed the interior architecture that connected modems, printers and other devices to personal computers, and helped create the first 1-gigahertz processor chip, which helped make computers faster and smaller. Those efforts led Drew to be honored became the first African-American IBM Fellow, which is the highest level of technical excellence at the company.

But that was far from his only honor. Dean has been the recipient of the 1988 PC Magazine World Class Award. 1997 Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award, the Ronald H. Brown American Innovators Awards, the Distinguished Engineer Award of the National Society of Black Engineers in 1999, and the National Academy of Engineering 2001. Last but not least, on this month in 1997, Mark Dean was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

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