Robert Norton Noyce 34523454

Inventor Robert Norton Noyce

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the life and career of inventor Robert Noyce, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. Noyce, who died in 1990, is credited with the invention of the integrated circuit. His patent for a “Semiconductor Device and Lead Structure” paved the way for the semiconductor revolution of the next decades.

He was called the Mayor of Silicon Valley and his relaxed corporate structures encouraged his employees to experiment in an era of buttoned-down austerity. Without Noyce and his various projects, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now…

Even in the dark early days of the IC, Noyce understood the value and importance of a high-tech education. Quoth Wikipedia:

In his last interview, Noyce was asked what he would do if he were “emperor” of the United States. He said that he would, among other things, “make sure we are preparing our next generation to flourish in a high-tech age. And that means education of the lowest and the poorest, as well as at the graduate school level.”