Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer

Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer

by I. Bernard Cohen
     
 

This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (see p. 19). After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections by the chief… See more details below

Overview

This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (see p. 19). After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections by the chief engineer in charge of construction of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the principal programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch. Henry Tropp describes Aiken's hostility to the exclusive use of binary numbers in computational systems and his alternative approach.

Part II contains essays by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and by Gregory Welch. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes, and excerpts from an interview conducted just before Aiken's death. Part IV gathers the most significant of Aiken's own writings. The appendixes give the specs of Aiken's machines and list his doctoral students and the topics of their dissertations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262032636
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
06/04/1999
Series:
History of Computing Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Name "Mark I"
Introducing Howard Aiken1
IAiken's Machines
Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine9
Aiken's First Machine: The IBM ASCC/Harvard Mark I31
Constructing the IBM ASCC (Harvard Mark I)65
Programming Mark I77
Mark II, an Improved Mark I111
Aiken's Alternative Number System129
IIAiken's Program of Instruction and Training
Aiken and the Harvard "Comp Lab"137
Aiken as a Teacher143
Aiken's Program in a Harvard Setting163
IIIRecollections
Commander Aiken and My Favorite Computer185
Reminiscences of Aiken during World War II and Later195
Reminiscences of the Boss203
A View from Overseas215
Aiken at Home, 1973219
IVIn His Own Words
Aiken in His Own Words: Selected and introduced by Gregory Welch229
Specifications of Aiken's Four Machines257
Aiken's Doctoral Students and Their Dissertations273
Index275

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