Your Columbians
Michael F. Hauben
Michael F. Hauben

Michael F. Hauben (1973-2001)
Internet Pioneer, Author
Columbia College 1995, Teachers College 1997

"I like to think of you as a netizen."

While the prevalence and universality of the Internet today may lead some to take it for granted, Michael Hauben did not. A pioneer in the study of the Internet's impact on society, Hauben helped identify the collaborative nature of the Internet and its effects on the global community. Credited with coining and popularizing the term netizen (net + citizen), Hauben, with his mother, Ronda, cowrote the seminal Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet (IEEE Computer Society Press, 1997), which outlined the growth and role of the medium in the world and was published in both English and Japanese.

Born on May 1, 1973, in Boston, Michael Hauben was an early participant in electronic bulletin boards. He graduated from Columbia University in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in computer science; following that, he entered the program Communication, Computing and Technology at Teacher's College and received a master's degree in 1997. Of particular interest to Hauben was understanding the democratization of the Internet and the participation of netizens in the global community to build the Net. He viewed the Internet as a reflection of democracy at work. An editor of the online newsletter "The Amateur Computerist," Hauben gave talks on the Internet in locales ranging from Beppu, Japan, to Corfu, Greece, to Montreal, Canada, to the Catskills region in New York. After sustaining injuries resulting from an accident in December 1999, when he was hit by a cab, Hauben died in June 2001. A champion of the Internet, he truly was a netizen.

Submitted by Simon Butler, Columbia College 1995, who is solely responsible for the content.

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