Nicholas Negroponte is an architect and computer scientist best known as the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab. He is the younger brother of John Negroponte, former United States Director of National Intelligence.
Negroponte earned a Master’s degree in Architecture from MIT in 1966 and joined the faculty of MIT in the same year. For several years thereafter he divided his teaching time between MIT and several visiting professorships at Yale, Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1967, Negroponte founded MIT’s Architecture Machine Group, a combination lab and think tank which studied new approaches to human-computer interface. In 1985, Negroponte created the MIT Media Lab with Jerome B. Wiesner. As director, he developed the lab into the pre-eminent computer science laboratory for new media and a high-tech playground for investigating the human-computer interface. In 1992, Negroponte became involved in the creation of “Wired Magazine” as the first investor. From 1993 to 1998, he contributed a monthly column to the magazine in which he reiterated a basic theme: “Move bits, not atoms.” Negroponte expanded many of the ideas from his “Wired” columns into a best-selling book “Being Digital”, which made famous his forecasts on how the interactive world, the entertainment world, and the information world eventually merge.
In 2000, Negroponte stepped down as director of the Media Lab. In November 2005, at the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Negroponte unveiled a $100 laptop computer, The Children’s Machine, designed for students in the developing world.