|Born: December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland|
|Fields: Computer Science
Linus Torvalds is a Finnish software engineer best known for his huge role in the development of the Linux operating system. Even though Linux has not received the mainstream popularity that Microsoft Windows has, it has filled a lot of niches thanks to its open-source nature allowing users to edit the system to their liking. One of the most notable successes of Linux in everyday life is Google’s Android mobile operating system, essentially a mobile-optimized version of Linux. Thanks to all the third party contributions, it is said that Torvalds himself writes less than two percent of the kernel.
Thanks to his creation, Torvalds has been named one of the inagural inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012. On April 20th of the same year he was one of two winners (along with Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka) of the Milenium Technology Prize, widely considered to be the technology field’s equivalent of the Nobel. The award recognizes “his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel”.
Millennium Technology Prize (2012)
EFF Pioneer Award
Honorary Docotrates from the Universities of Helsinki and Stockholm