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John Hamilton Curtiss, 1909-1977

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129338D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 11 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

John Todd: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

John Hampton Curtis was chief of the Applied Mathematics Division of the National Bureau of Standards from 1946 to 1953. He was largely responsible for the planning and construction of SEAC and SWAC and for the procurement of the first UNIVACs for federal establishments.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 10% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc., Volume 2, Number 2, April 1980. Used with permission.

John Hamilton Curtiss, 1909-1977

John Todd

(Image Omitted: © 1980 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies,inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's address: Department of Mathematics 253-37, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125. © 1980 AFIPS 01 64-1 239/80/0201 04-1 1 0

John Hamilton Curtiss, 1909-1977

John Todd .00/0)

John Hampton Curtis was chief of the Applied Mathematics Division of the National Bureau of Standards from 1946 to 1953. He was largely responsible for the planning and construction of SEAC and SWAC and for the procurement of the first UNIVACs for federal establishments.

Keywords and phrases: automatic computer, SEAC, SWAC, National Bureau of Standards, John Curtiss, obituary

CR category: 1.2

1 Vita

John Hamilton Curtiss was a man of many talents: first and always a mathematician, but also a highly able administrator, musician, and tennis player. During the years 1946-1953 he was at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and played a vital role in the development, procurement, and widespread application of computers in the United States. I was with him at NBS in 1947-1948 and 1949-1953, and I shall discuss his contributions to the computer field as I remember them.

John Curtiss was born on December 23,11 1909, into an academic environment. His father, D.
R. Curtiss (1878-1953), was professor of mathematics at Northwestern University, was president of the Mathematical Association of America in 1935-1936, and wrote a standard introduction to complex variable theory (1926), still in print. His uncle, Ralph H. Curtiss, was professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan.

1 1. December 23, incidentally, is of great importance in the history of mathematics. R. Fricke wrote in the Encyklopadia. Math. Wiss. (11, B3, p. 183) that Jacobi said it was the birthday of elliptic functions. Neither B. C. Carlson nor I has been able to check this statement, but Euler reported on the fundamental work of Fagnano to the Berlin Academy on this date in 1751, and it was on this date in 1799 that Gauss completed the proof of the expression for the arithmetic-geometric mean in terms of an elliptic integral.

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 2 Number 2, Pages 104-110

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John Hamilton Curtiss, 1909-1977

After graduating with highest honors fr...