Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computerby I. Bernard Cohen
Pub. Date: 06/04/1999
Publisher: MIT Press
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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