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Nathan Myhrvold (2007)
Nathan Myhrvold (born 1959 in Seattle, Washingtonmarker), formerly Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft, is co-founder of Intellectual Ventures, which is seeking to build a large invention portfolio. He personally holds more than 18 U.S. patents and has applied for more than 100. His company is accumulating patents in software.

Myhrvold attended Mirman School, and began college at age 14. He studied mathematics, geophysics, and space physics at UCLAmarker (BSc, Masters). At Princetonmarker he earned a master's degree in mathematical economics and completed a PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics by age 23. He also attended Santa Monica Collegemarker. For one year, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridgemarker working under Stephen Hawking, studying cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space time and quantum theories of gravitation, but left to co-found a computer startup in Oakland, Californiamarker. The company, Dynamical Systems Research Inc., sought to produce Mondrian, a clone of IBM's TopView multitasking environment for DOS. Microsoft purchased DSR in 1986 and Myhrvold worked there for 13 years. At Microsoft he founded Microsoft Research in 1991.

Myhrvold is a prize-winning nature and wildlife photographer. He is also involved with paleontological research on expeditions with the Museum of the Rockiesmarker. His work has appeared in scientific journals including Science, Nature, Paleobiology and the Physical Review, as well as Fortune, Time, National Geographic Traveler and Slate. He and Peter Rinearson helped Bill Gates write The Road Ahead, a book about the future that reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 1995 and 1996. Myhrvold has contributed $1 million to the SETI Foundation for the development of the Allen Telescope Arraymarker, planned to be the world's most powerful radio telescope.

In addition to his business and scientific interests, he is a master French chef who has finished first and second in the world championship of barbecue in Memphis, Tennesseemarker. He also works as an assistant chef at one of Seattle'smarker leading French restaurants.

After the Science Museummarker in London successfully built the computing section of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine #2 in 1991, Myhrvold funded the construction of the output section, which performs both printing and stereotyping of calculated results. He also commissioned the construction of a second complete Difference Engine #2 for himself, which will be exhibited at the Computer History Museummarker in Mountain View, Californiamarker from May 10, 2008 through December 2009.

In 2000 Myhrvold co-founded Intellectual Ventures, a patent portfolio developer and broker.


  1. "Ubuntu: Microsoft is Patent Pal", Matthew Broersma, PC World, 23 May 2007
  2. "Where Bright Minds Can Shine", Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times, 22 November 2000
  3. Oversight Testimony “Patent Quality and Improvement” before the Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, House Committee on the Judiciary, United States Congress, 28 April 2005
  4. Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2008

Further reading

  • Auletta, Ken, "The Highwaymen", Harvest Books, 1998. ISBN 0156005735 — cf Chapter 17: The Microsoft Provocateur: Nathan Myhrvold, Bill Gates Corporate Gadfly.

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