Inventor, scientist, author, engineer — over his broad career, Danny Hillis has turned his ever-searching brain on an array of subjects, with surprising results.

Why you should listen

Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While completing his doctorate at MIT, he pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID array. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices, and has recently been working on problems in medicine as well. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock, and he gave a TED Talk in 1994 that is practically prophetic. Throughout his career, Hillis has worked at places like Disney and now Applied Minds, always looking for the next fascinating problem.

What others say

“We're at a point in time which is analogous to when single-celled organisms were turning into multi-celled organisms. So we're the amoebas.” — Danny Hillis

Danny Hillis on the TED Blog
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TED2013

Vint Cerf: Actually, the Internet’s going to be just fine

March 19, 2013

One of the greatest privileges of co-curating TED isn’t just getting to work with incredible speakers, but also talking with those in the audience. Danny Hillis gave a sobering presentation, “The Internet could crash. We need a Plan B,” at TED2013, detailing his concern at the exponential growth of the Internet, and the need for […]

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Science

Defending the internet itself: Danny Hillis at TED2013

February 27, 2013

Danny Hillis has a book. It’s a directory of everyone in the world who had an internet address in 1982, including the names, addresses and telephone numbers. And it was a very thin phonebook. That was the community. It was a tight community where everyone knew and trusted each other. Hillis has been a fixture […]

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Quotes from Danny Hillis

A human body is a conversation going on, both within the cells and between the cells, and they’re telling each other to grow and to die; when you’re sick, something’s gone wrong with that conversation.
Danny Hillis
TEDMED 2010 • 363K views Feb 2011
Informative, Ingenious
If transportation technology was moving along as fast as microprocessor technology, then the day after tomorrow I would be able to get in a taxi cab and be in Tokyo in 30 seconds.
Danny Hillis
TED1994 • 514K views Feb 2012
Fascinating, Informative