Catalogue


Makin' numbers [electronic resource] : Howard Aiken and the computer /
edited by I. Bernard Cohen and Gregory W. Welch with the cooperation of Robert V.D. Campbell.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1999.
description
xvii, 279 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0262032635 (hc : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
series title
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1999.
isbn
0262032635 (hc : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
9543240
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
I. Bernard Cohen is the Victor S. Thomas Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Harvard University. Gregory W. Welch, the former Director of Exhibits at the Computer Museum in Boston, works in marketing at the Intel Corporation.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
Cohen's excellent book on Howard Aiken, together with its companion Makin' Numbers, reveals the tremendous contribution Aiken made to early computing at Harvard. The architecture (to use a modern term) of his enormous mechanical decimal machine, the Mark I, is largely attributable to Aiken, while the ingenious hardware was supplied by IBM Corporation. The success of this machine, with the attendant publicity, sparked the interest of others and led to the development of the computer industry. Aiken went on to construct another three machines of improved type and established a curriculum at Harvard that became a model for other computer science programs. Suitable for general readers and undergraduates through professionals. Fascinating and well written, Makin' Numbers also makes very enjoyable reading. This volume explains more about the mathematical techniques used to enable a purely mechanical computer to carry out complicated mathematical processes, and it relates the experiences of the first programmers, such as Grace Hopper and Richard Bloch, as they worked to understand and control their enormous machine. These excellent books will help to open the minds of students to alternative methods of solving problems. The reminiscences of the many people who worked with Aiken at Harvard give a picture of what it was like to work and study under his influence. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. D. A. Dobbin; Maine Maritime Academy
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
with the cooperation of Robert V. D. CampbellThis collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines 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 on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides 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.
Main Description
with the cooperation of Robert V. D. Campbell This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer . After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines 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 on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides 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.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography of Howard Aiken. It includes Aiken's own writings, as well as essays on his theories and administrative and teaching styles.
Main Description
with the cooperation of Robert V. D. Campbell This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines 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 on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides 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.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
The Name "Mark I"p. xix
Introducing Howard Aikenp. 1
Aiken's Machines
Proposed Automatic Calculating Machinep. 9
Aiken's First Machine: The IBM ASCC/Harvard Mark Ip. 31
Constructing the IBM ASCC (Harvard Mark I)p. 65
Programming Mark Ip. 77
Mark II, an Improved Mark Ip. 111
Aiken's Alternative Number Systemp. 129
Aiken's Program of Instruction and Training
Aiken and the Harvard "Comp Lab"p. 137
Aiken as a Teacherp. 143
Aiken's Program in a Harvard Settingp. 163
Recollections
Commander Aiken and My Favorite Computerp. 185
Reminiscences of Aiken during World War II and Laterp. 195
Reminiscences of the Bossp. 203
A View from Overseasp. 215
Aiken at Home, 1973p. 219
In His Own Words
Aiken in His Own Wordsp. 229
Appendixes
Specifications of Aiken's Four Machinesp. 257
Aiken's Doctoral Students and Their Dissertationsp. 273
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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