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Veteran Silicon Valley Researcher and Executive Chronicles World-Changing Innovations from SRI International

First Book to Explore How SRI's Culture and Approach Have Fueled Innovation for Nearly Sixty Years

MENLO PARK, Calif.– May 31, 2005 – SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, today announced the publication of A Heritage of Innovation: SRI's First Half Century. Written by retired SRI Vice President Donald L. Nielson, the book outlines notable SRI innovations and projects that have significantly affected science, technology, social systems and global markets.

"For nearly 60 years, SRI has continued to meet its mission by delivering innovations aimed at solving important, real-world problems," said Nielson. "Through stories of the individuals, teams and work done at SRI, this book serves as a unique reference guide for researchers, technologists, investors and others seeking an understanding of how research and the process of innovation can transform governments, businesses and society at large."

Through the personal stories of SRI's researchers, Nielson reconstructs the history and milestones of 60 of more than 50,000 research and development projects SRI has completed since 1946, detailing the fundamental contributions that prompted BusinessWeek to call SRI "Silicon Valley's soul." SRI successes include the invention of the computer mouse and other foundations of personal computing, pioneering advances in robotics, new cancer treatments, more than 20 years of studies of youth with disabilities, and the selection of Anaheim as the location for Disneyland.

The book is available for purchase at Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park, Calif. and online at

About the Author
During his 40 years with SRI International, Donald Nielson played a key role in guiding the organization and in developing some of the institute's most celebrated innovations. While an SRI vice president and director of the Computing and Engineering Sciences Division, Dr. Nielson helped launch two of SRI's most successful spin-off companies: Nuance Corporation, a leader in automatic speech recognition, and Intuitive Surgical, Inc., which offers a revolutionary minimally invasive surgical system.

After retiring from management roles in 1998, he began documenting SRI's origins and unique research accomplishments for the book, A Heritage of Innovation: SRI's First Half Century.

Dr. Nielson, a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, has won a Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Air Force and SRI's Mimi Award for fostering the professional growth of co-workers. He is a member of the SRI Alumni Hall of Fame.

About SRI International

Silicon Valley-based SRI International ( ) is one of the world's leading independent research and technology development organizations. Founded as Stanford Research Institute in 1946, SRI has been meeting the strategic needs of clients for almost 60 years. The nonprofit research institute performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses and private foundations. In addition to conducting contract R&D, SRI licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships and creates spin-off companies.

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