computer science

Jay Wright Forrester and System Dynamics

Jay Wright Forrester and System Dynamics

On July 14, 1918, pioneering American computer engineer and systems scientist Jay Wright Forrester was born. Forrester is known as the founder of system dynamics, which deals with the simulation of interactions between objects in dynamic systems. He also he supervised the building of the Whirlwind computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for which he invented the random-access magnetic core memory, the information-storage device employed in most digital computers.…
Heinz Nixdorf and his Microcomputers

Heinz Nixdorf and his Microcomputers

On April 9, 1925, German computing pioneer, businessman and founder of Nixdorf Computer AG Heinz Nixdorf was born. Nixdorf founded his first computer company in 1952. He would lead this company as its owner to an international electronic concern that would make almost 4 billion D-Mark. His microcomputer could stand up to the mainframes and because of that, Nixdorf was known as one of the founders who were a symbol…

Rolf Landauer and the Landauer Principle

On February 4, 1927, German-American physicist Rolf William Landauer was born. Landauer made important contributions in diverse areas of the thermodynamics of information processing, condensed matter physics, and the conductivity of disordered media. He is probably best known for the formulation of the eponymous Landauer Principle concerning the energy used during a computer‘s operation. Rolf Landauer was born on February 4, 1927, in Stuttgart, Germany. He emigrated to the United…
Haskell Brooks Curry and Computational Logic

Haskell Brooks Curry and Computational Logic

On September 12, 1900, American mathematician and logician Haskell Brooks Curry was born. Curry’s research in the foundations of mathematics led him to the development of combinatory logic. Later, this seminal work found significant application in computer science, especially in the design of programming languages. Curry is also known for Curry’s paradox and the Curry–Howard correspondence. There are three programming languages named after him, Haskell, Brook and Curry, as well as the…
John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

John William Mauchly and the Electronic Computer

On August 30, 1907, US-American physicist John William Mauchly was born. Along with J. Presper Eckert, Mauchly designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States. Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. John W.…
Robert Ledley and the Computer Tomograph

Robert Ledley and the Computer Tomograph

On June 28, 1926, American computer scientist Robert Steven Ledley was born. Ledley pioneered the use of electronic digital computers in biology and medicine. He invented the ACTA (Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial) diagnostic X-ray scanner, the first whole-body computerized tomography (CT) machine, which revolutionized medical diagnosis. Conrad Roentgen‘s discovery of the “x-rays” already was a sensation in 1895, which revolutionized medical diagnostics. The CT-scan led another step further to more…
Herbert A. Simon and the Science of Decision Making

Herbert A. Simon and the Science of Decision Making

On June 15, 1916, American political scientist, economist, sociologist, psychologist, and computer scientist Herbert Alexander Simon was born. Simon was among the founding fathers of several of today’s important scientific domains, including artificial intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulation of scientific discovery. With almost a thousand highly cited publications, he was one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century. “(If) there…
The BASIC Programming Language

The BASIC Programming Language

On May 1st, 1964, the original BASIC programming language was released by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, implemented under their direction by a team of Dartmouth College students in New Hampshire. Their initial goal was to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn. Actually, BASIC…
George Stibitz and the Electromechanical Digital Computer

George Stibitz and the Electromechanical Digital Computer

  On April 30, 1904, U.S. mathematician George Robert Stibitz was born. Stibitz is recognized as one of the fathers of the modern first digital computer. He was a Bell Labs researcher known for his work in the 1930s and 1940s on the realization of Boolean logic digital circuits using electromechanical relays as the switching element. Stibitz was born in York, Pennsylvania to George Stibitz, a professor of theology, and…
The World Digital Library

The World Digital Library

On April 21, 2009, the World Digital Library (WDL) was launched. The WDL is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress. The library intends to make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. In…
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