W. DANIEL ("DANNY") HILLIS is the co-founder of Applied Invention, an interdisciplinary group of engineers, scientists and artists that develop technology solutions in partnership with leading companies and entrepreneurs. He is also the co-founder of Applied Minds, visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab, the Widney Professor of Engineering and Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), professor of research medicine at the Keck School of Medicine, and research professor of engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering. Previously, he was Vice President, Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Disney Fellow, where he developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer products businesses. He is the winner of many awards, including the Dan David Prize.
An inventor, scientist, engineer, author, and visionary, Hillis pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. He holds hundreds of U.S. patents, covering parallel computers, touch interfaces, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices.