Isaac Auerbach survey of large scale computing machines1947
Isaac Auerbach (1921-1992) joined the staff of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation to work on the UNIVAC project in June of 1946. One of his initial assignments was to survey and analyze the "large-scale computing projects" that were underway in the various computational laboratories throughout the country. This report goes through the history of analog computing, the development of digital computing and computational theory, current computer development projects at research institutions and commercial firms, and the commercial market for electronic digital computers.
Isaac Auerbach (1921-1992), an engineer educated at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, joined the staff of the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation to work on the UNIVAC project in June of 1946. One of his initial assignments was to survey and analyze the "large-scale computing projects" that were underway in the various computational laboratories throughout the country. He helped design the BINAC and ENIAC computers. After leaving Sperry, he established the Defense, Space, and Special Products Division at the Burroughs Corporation. In 1957, he founded Auerbach Corporation for Science and Technology and went on to start several other companies in the computing industry, including Auerbach Associates, Inc., and Auerbach Publishers, Inc. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974.
Scope and Contents
This photo-printed report notes developments in analog computing beginning in the late nineteenth century. Particular attention is focused on Vannevar Bush's (1890-1974) differential analyzer. Auerbach then explores the advantages of digital computing and explains the basic elements of computational theory as understood in the late 1940s. Auerbach's final section surveys current projects at research institutions (Harvard Computation Laboratory, Iowa State College, National Bureau of Standards, Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and commercial firms (Electronic Control Company, Engineering Research Associates, IBM, Raytheon, Eastman Kodak, and Bell Laboratories). Auerbach concludes his report by analyzing the commercial market for electronic digital computers.
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