va-shiva-ayyadurai-the-washington-post-articleVA Shiva Ayyadurai is a scientist-technologist, entrepreneur and educator. He is the inventor of email. In 1978, while a 14-year-old high school student he invented EMAIL, the world’s  first email system, which was the full-scale emulation of the interoffice paper-based mail system, for which he was awarded the first US Copyright. He holds four degrees from MIT, is a Fulbright Scholar, Lemelson-MIT Awards Finalist and Westinghouse Science Talent Honors Award recipient.

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.

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Recently however, a substantial controversy has arisen as to who invented email. This controversy has resulted in an unfortunate series of attacks on Shiva. Part of the problem is that different people use to the term to mean somewhat different things.

Born in Bombay, India, VA Shiva moved to America at the age of 7 in 1970. He completed his secondary school education at Livingston High School, Livingston, NJ. He pursued his Imagebachelors, dual masters and doctoral degrees at MIT, spanning the fields of electrical engineering and computer science, media arts and sciences, applied mechanics and systems biology. VA Shiva’s research on pattern recognition and large-scale systems development has resulted in multiple patents, numerous industry awards, new computational platforms such as lvCytoSoe, commercial products such as EchoMail, and scientific and industry publications.

Since the age of 5, VA Shiva, was intrigued by medicine as he observed his grandmother, a farmer and healer, in the small village of Muhavur in South India, apply Siddha to heal and support local villagers. Those early experiences drove him to pursue modern Western science and technology and Eastern medicine with the aim of becoming a scientist and healer. Over the last three decades, his formal Western research and study focused on developing new systems for pattern analysis across multiple disciplines. In parallel, he trained in many Eastern modalities including various forms of Yoga, Meditation, Nutritional and Herbal Medicines, learning from esteemed sages and masters in the oral tradition.

Today, VA Shiva, teaches a pioneering new course at MIT called Systems Visualization in MIT’s Department of Comparative Media Studies. He is the Chairman & CEO of  CytoSolve, Inc., and Executive Director of the International Center for Integrative Systemsva_shiva_ayyadurai_US_copyright_email_th located in Cambridge. He has started and successfully grown several start-up companies. Following his winning of a White House competition to automatically analyze and sort mail President Clinton’s email, VA Shiva started EchoMail,Inc. which grew to nearly $200 million in market valuation. He has appeared in The MIT Technology Review, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NBC News, USA Today and other major media. Shiva was named Top 40 in the Improper Bostonian. He has also authored three books on the Internet and EMAIL: Arts and the Internet, The Internet Publicity Guide and The EMAIL Revolution, which will be coming out in 2013.

VA Shiva continues his passion for entrepreneurialism as Managing Director of General Interactive, a venture fund that incubates, mentors and funds new startups in various areas including rural healthcare, media, biotechnology, information technology, to name a few. He has also started InnovationCorps to fuel innovation among teenagers worldwide. He serves as a consultant to CEOs and Executive Management at Fortune 1000 companies, as well as government organizations such as the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General. VA Shiva is a member of Sigma-Xi, Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi. He supports the Shanthi Foundation, which raises money to provide scholarships for education of orphaned girls. He is also a supporter of various arts and non-profit organizations including the Guggenheim Museum, Very Special Arts, National Public Radio and the National Geographic Society. V. A. Shiva enjoys yoga, travel, tennis, animals, art and architecture, and lives Belmont, MA, USA.



SBEE, MSVS, MSME, PhD, Electrical Engineering, Visual Studies, Mechanical Engineering & Systems Biology (1986 – 2007)

·Livingston High School

· High School Diploma (1978 – 1981 )

Activities and Societies: Varsity Soccer Varsity Baseball Key Club

Patents :

·Relationship management system and method using asynchronous electronic messaging

oUnited States Patent 6,668,281

Issued June 10, 1999

A system and method for automating workflow related to the reception, review, distribution, and disposition of client contact through electronic communications.

·Filter  for modeling system and method for handling and routing of text-based asynchronous communication

oUnited States Patent 6,718,367

Issued June 1, 1999

A three phase process and system is disclosed for automatically and adaptively filtering and classifying electronic text-based messages, such as email, e-commerce transactions, CGI forms, and optically scanned and textualized written and facsimile messages.

·System and method for content-sensitive automatic reply message generation for text-based asynchronous communications

United States Patent 6,718,368

Issued June 3, 1999

A process and system is disclosed for automatically and adaptively retrieving information from a database and transmitting reply messages based on the content of a received message, such as an email, CGI form, or facsimile document

Systems Health™ was developed by Dr. VA Shiva Ayyadurai, a renowned systems scientist and computational systems biology expert.