Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer

Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer

by I. Bernard Cohen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262032627

ISBN-13: 9780262032629

Pub. Date: 06/04/1999

Publisher: MIT Press

Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-1973) was a major figure of the early digital era. He is best known for his first machine, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or Harvard Mark I, conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944. But he also made significant contributions to the development of applications for the new machines and to the creation of a

Overview

Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-1973) was a major figure of the early digital era. He is best known for his first machine, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or Harvard Mark I, conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944. But he also made significant contributions to the development of applications for the new machines and to the creation of a university curriculum for computer science.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262032629
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
06/04/1999
Series:
History of Computing Series
Pages:
412
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
The Names "ASCC" and "Mark I" xix
Introduction to a Pioneer
1(8)
Early Life and Education
9(12)
A Harvard Graduate Student
21(12)
First Steps Toward a New Type of Calculating Machine
33(6)
An Unsuccessful Attempt to Get the Machine Built
39(6)
Seeking Support from IBM
45(8)
The Proposal for an Automatic Calculating Machine
53(8)
Aiken's Background in Computing and Knowledge of Babbage's Machines
61(12)
Planning and Beginning the Construction of the Machine
73(14)
How to Perform Multiplication and Division by Machine
87(8)
Construction of the Machine
95(14)
Installing the ASCC/Mark I in Cambridge and Transferring It to the Navy
109(6)
Aiken at the Naval Mine Warfare School
115(6)
The Dedication
121(10)
The Aftermath
131(16)
Some Features of Mark I
147(12)
Programming and Staffing, Wartime Operation, and the Implosion Computations
159(10)
The Mystery of the Number 23
169(8)
Tables of Bessel Functions
177(8)
Aiken's Harvard Program in Computer Science
185(12)
Later Relations between Aiken and IBM
197(4)
Aiken at Harvard, 1945--1961
201(14)
Life in the Comp Lab
215(12)
Retirement from Harvard
227(4)
Businessman and Consultant
231(6)
A Summing Up
237(72)
Appendixes
A The Harvard News Release
249(4)
B Aiken's Talk at the Dedication
253(10)
C Aiken's Memorandum Describing the Harvard Computation Laboratory
263(6)
D The Stored Program and the Binary Number System
269(6)
E Aiken's Three Later Machines
275(8)
F How Many Computers Are Needed?
283(12)
G The NSF Computer Tree
295(2)
H Who Invented the Computer? Was Mark I a Computer?
297(8)
I The Harvard Computation Laboratory during the 1950s
305(4)
Sources 309(16)
Index 325

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