[mailhist-discuss] Email history news - more honors for Ayyadurai?

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Tue Jun 5 11:48:27 PDT 2012

PR Newswire has a new release: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the Inventor of Email,
Honored as 2012 TiE Star, text below and at
l#storylink=cpy. The copy is taken largely from his website.

TiE seems to be a network for Indian entrepreneurs. The Boston chapter,
which allegedly made the award, looks legitimate and has some reputable
sponsors (https://boston.tie.org/page/sponsors) although the press release
comes from Ayyadurai's own International Center for Integrative Systems.
This does not (at least as yet) show as a press release on the official
Boston chapter site: https://boston.tie.org/news-and-views/press-releases.
Neither does the TiE site include a news item on the award.

You'll notice I am refraining from ad hominem attacks. It will be
interesting to see what, if any, media organizations pick the story up. 


press release 

June 5, 2012, 1:00 a.m. EDT 

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, the Inventor of Email, Honored as 2012 TiE Star
Ayyadurai receives innovation honor for "his seminal work in the invention
of email" and for the creation of CytoSolve, a revolutionary platform for
in-silico drug development.  

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- V.A. Shiva
Ayyadurai, 48, an inventor and systems scientist, founder of EchoMail,
Chairman & CEO of CytoSolve, and Lecturer at MIT was honored as a TiE Star
for his invention of email and ongoing contributions to email technology, as
well his recent work to revolutionize drug development. His achievements
provide an inspiring message: innovation can occur any time, any place by


In the summer of 1978, Shiva, then a 14-year-old boy, was recruited for
programming assignments at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey. He developed a computer program, which
replicated the features of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper mail
system. He named his program "EMAIL". Shiva filed an application for
copyright in his program and in 1982 the United States Copyright Office
issued a Certificate of Registration, No. TXu-111-775, to him on the
program. As required by the Regulations of the Copyright Office, he
deposited portions of the original source code with the program. Prominent
in the code is the name "EMAIL" that he gave to the program. He received a
second Certificate of Registration, No. TXu-108-715, for the "EMAIL User's
Manual" he had prepared to accompany the program and that taught
unsophisticated user's how to use EMAIL's features. 

On February 16, 2012, artifacts documenting Shiva's invention were accepted
into the Smithsonian. Subsequently, a substantial controversy arose,
unleashed by industry insiders' false claims about email --- claims that are
the basis of Raytheon/BBN's entire multi-billion dollar brand and mascot,
who is marketed as the "inventor of email." Part of the problem is that
different people use to the term to mean somewhat different things. 

When Shiva was recruited at UMDNJ, his supervisor, Dr. Leslie P. Michelson
challenged him to translate the conventional paper-based interoffice and
inter-organizational communication system to an electronic communication
system. Systems for communications among widely dispersed computers were in
existence at the time, but they were primitive and their usage was largely
confined to computer scientists and specialists. Shiva envisioned something
simpler, something that everyone, from secretary to CEO, could use to
quickly and reliably send and receive digital messages. 

He embraced the project and began by performing a thorough evaluation of
UMDNJ's paper-based mail system, the same as that used in offices and
organizations around the world. He determined that the essential features of
these systems included functions corresponding to "Inbox", "Outbox",
"Drafts", "Memo"
"Attachments", "Folders", "Compose", "Forward", "Reply", "Address Book",
"Groups", "Return Receipt", "Sorting". These capabilities were all to be
provided in a software program having a sufficiently simple interface that
needed no expertise in computer systems to use efficiently to "Send" and
"Receive" mail electronically. It is these features that make his program
"email" and that distinguish "email" from prior electronic communications. 

Shiva went on to be recognized by the Westinghouse Science Talent Search
Honors Group for his invention. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
highlighted his invention as one among four, in the incoming Freshman class
of 1,040 students. It was Shiva's invention, the first in the genealogy of
all modern email systems. Today, nearly 2 billion people worldwide use
email, rendering it an indispensable form of communication. 

"I am humbled to be selected as a TiE Star recipient and to be included
among such an esteemed group of true innovators and intrepid entrepreneurs,"
said Shiva. "The invention of email evolved from a challenge to solve a real
world problem. That work taught me the power of systems thinking, which has
stayed with me all my life, through to my current work at MIT in developing
a new course called Systems Visualization, and to create CytoSolve, a system
which aims to solve another real world problem: reducing the time and costs
to produce life-saving drugs." 

"V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai is named a TiE Star recognizing his seminal work in
the invention of email, way before its potential could be recognized as a
worldwide communication medium. By developing the first email system, Shiva
was intuitively seeing it as a paradigm of communication medium, developing
the electronic equivalent of paper-based postal mail system. Subsequently as
an entrepreneur, Shiva continued to leverage this electronic mail medium in
mass communication and marketing, fairly early on," said Shekhar Shastri,
Charter Member and TiE Star Program Organizer. "TiE recognizes that there is
no bar to innovation, be it age, location or ethnic background. TiE fosters
entrepreneurship even amongst high school students under its TyE (Tie Young
Entrepreneur's Program); Shiva's breakthrough work as a high school student
serves as an inspiration to our TyE participants." 

About The TiE Star Program 

TiE Star celebrates the spirit of TiE and recognizes extraordinary people
who turned their passion into innovative ventures. TiE (The Indus
Entrepreneurs), the world's largest not-for-profit organization promoting
entrepreneurship, is spread over 57 locations across 14 countries. TiE's
mission to foster entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and
education is delivered globally by its 11,000 members worldwide. The mission
of TiE Boston is to foster entrepreneurship through Networking, Mentoring
and Education. TiE plays a critical role in bringing together investors,
entrepreneurs, service providers and public organizations to create an
eco-system that fosters the genesis of great companies. 

About The International Center for Integrative Systems 

The International Center for Integrative Systems (ICIS), located in
Cambridge, Mass., provides an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, artists and
systems thinkers. The Center offers an incubator for entrepreneurs as well
as studio spaces for visual and performing arts educators. ICIS' research
areas include traditional medicines and systems biology, biomimetics of
media and communication as well as being the home of the EMAIL Lab. 

Media ContactsSonu Matthew
Abraham617-755-8664sonu.abraham at integrativesystems.org 

SOURCE The International Center for Integrative Systems 

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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