This is Professor Fujio Masuoka, the inventor of flash memory at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. He is seen here in with a model of a silicon atom, in the Solid State Laboratory of Tohoku University's Katahira campus in Sendai City, Japan. Masuoka first invented flash memory technology in 1980 when working for Toshiba. At the time he and his company filed five patents but it was not until 1984 that he unveiled his findings at the IDEM Conference in San Francisco. Masuoka continued to work for Toshiba until Sept. 1994, then he joined the faculty of Tohoku University in October '94 as a professor for the school's Research Institute of Electrical Communication. He has been there ever since. Today, flash memory is one of the most widely used technology for digital cameras, mobile phones, iPods, and other consumer electronic devices. To this day, Toshiba still holds the patents to flash memory. Photo taken March 18, 2006.