Computing For The People

Michael Dertouzos, guru of user-friendliness

Michael Dertouzos, 62, grew up in a poor neighborhood of Athens but has spent most of his life at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As director of the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS), Dertouzos presided over a symposium in April to mark the lab's 35th anniversary. The event was punctuated by Bill Gates's announcement that he will be donating $20 million to LCS for a new building, designed by architect Frank Gehry. Dertouzos also gave his new benefactor something to think about: He unveiled plans for a new computer operating system dubbed Oxygen that a team of LCS researchers will develop with a $40 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and for burying a time capsule with a cryptographic puzzle. business week Correspondent Paul C. Judge interviewed him in Cambridge, Mass.

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