IEEE

Mar 20 – The Other Women of ENIAC: Rethinking IT Innovation

Monday, March 20, 2017
6:00 PM: Doors open for refreshments and networking
6:30 PM: Presentation

Registration Required, donation requested
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Venue: KeyPoint Credit Union
2805 Bowers Ave (just off Central Expressway)
Santa Clara, CA 95051

Park in lot adjacent to building on Bowers Ave.

Our Thanks To KeyPoint Credit Union

IEEE SV Tech History committee is extremely grateful to KeyPoint Credit Union for use of their auditorium as our prime venue. Many thanks to Doron Noyman of KeyPoint for his support in making that happen.
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The Other Women of ENIAC: Rethinking IT Innovation
An evening with Thomas Haigh – author of “ENIAC in Action”

Co-sponsored with SCV Women In Engineering Chapter

Abstract:

What makes a computing historian tick?  What motivates their research into arcane topics and to lead a group of information technology historians (SIGCIS)?  We’ll learn that and more in an enlightening conversation with Thomas Haigh which will precede his presentation on the very popular book ENIAC in Actionpublished in 2016 by MIT Press.

Haigh explains that the six women now celebrated as the “first computer programmers” were actually hired as computer operators and worked hands-on with the machine around the clock. Other women, who actually built ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic computer, have been forgotten entirely. So has most of the work that made the project so successful, from procuring the right kind of wire to saving ENIAC from flood water.

Popular stories about the history of information technology have usually focused on great inventors and technical breakthroughs, from Charles Babbage and Alan Turing to Steve Jobs and the World Wide Web. Operations work and the labor of non-geniuses has been mostly written out of the history of innovation, but without it no computer would be useful. Information historian Thomas Haigh has written it back in!

Read more about Eniac In Action

The conversation will be moderated by Alan J Weissberger, past chair and founder of the IEEE SV Tech History committee.

Bio:

Thomas Haigh, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Comenius Visiting Professor of the History of Computing at Siegen University. He has published on many aspects of the history of computing including the evolution of data base management systems, word processing, the software package, corporate computer departments, Internet software, computing in science fiction, the “software crisis” of the 1960s, IBM in Europe, and the Colossus code breaking machines.

Besides being the author of ENIAC in Action (MIT, 2016) Haigh is the editor of Histories of Computing (Harvard, 2011), a collection of the work of Michael Mahoney, and the lead editor of a 2015 special issue of Information and Culture on the theme “Histories of the Internet.” From 2005 to 2015 he was chair of SIGCIS, the group for historians of information technology. Learn more at www.tomandmaria.com/tom.

One Response to “Mar 20 – The Other Women of ENIAC: Rethinking IT Innovation”

  1. Fred zeise says:

    Worthwhile history in today’s context

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