Dr. Donald L. Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor of Computer Science, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.
Bitzer co-invented the flat plasma display panel in 1964. The technology was eventually applied to television screens, and millions of plasma TVs have been sold to the public since they were introduced in the 1990s. His work on the plasma display monitor earned him an Emmy Award in 2002. He also invented and co-developed Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations, or PLATO, the first computer system to combine graphics and touch-screen displays.