Robert M. Frankston (born June 14, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York) is the co-creator with Dan Bricklin of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program and the co-founder of Software Arts, the company that developed it.
Frankston graduated in 1966 from Stuyvesant High School in New York City and in 1970 from M.I.T.
Frankston has received numerous honors and awards for his work:
- Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (1994) "for the invention of VisiCalc, a new metaphor for data manipulation that galvanized the personal computing industry"
- MIT William L. Stewart Award for co-founding the M.I.T. Student Information Processing Board (SIPB).
- The Association for Computing Machinery Software System Award (1985)
- The MIT LCS Industrial Achievement Award
- The Washington Award (2001) from the Western Society of Engineers (with Bricklin)
- In 2004, he was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum "for advancing the utility of personal computers by developing the VisiCalc electronic spreadsheet."
Following his work with Dan Bricklin, Frankston "later worked at Lotus and Microsoft."
Frankston became an outspoken advocate for reducing the role of telecommunications companies in the evolution of the Internet, particularly with respect to broadband and mobile communications. He coined the term "Regulatorium" to describe what he considers collusion between telecommunication companies and their regulators that prevents change.