J.C.R. Licklider may well be one of the most influential people in the history of computer science. As Director of the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO), a division of the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), Licklider from 1963-64 put in place the funding priorities which would lead to the Internet, and the invention of the "mouse," "windows" and "hypertext." Together these elements comprise the foundation of our networked society, and it owes much of its existence to the man who held the purse-strings, and also created a management culture where graduate students were left to run a multi-million dollar research project.
1960 Published "Man-Computer Symbiosis"
1962-1964 Directed ARPA information processing technology and
behavioral sciences section (IPTO 1963-4). Encouraged
research into time-sharing at MIT, SDC, Berkeley, UCLA, etc
and distributed enough money to incubate the formation
of computer science departments that eventually would
be linked up via the ARPNET. (Funding for Project MAC
started in 1963.) Fano said, Licklider was "very
different from most heads of branches of the
government, .... not sitting in your office waiting for
proposals to arrive after sending out a brochure ...
running around the country trying to generate