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The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129339D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 11 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

HARRY D. HUSKEY: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The involvement of the National Bureau of Standards in automatic computing prior to 1949 is explained in some detail in order to describe the initiation of the SWAC project at the Institute for Numerical Analysis at UCLA. The status of automatic computing in 1948 and 1949 is presented from contemporary documents. Finally, some details of the SWAC design and an extensive bibliography are given.

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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.

The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC)

HARRY D. HUSKEY

(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 Information Sciences, 2 University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. © 1980 AFIPS 0164-1239/80/0201 11-121

The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC)

HARRY D. HUSKEY 00/0)

The involvement of the National Bureau of Standards in automatic computing prior to 1949 is explained in some detail in order to describe the initiation of the SWAC project at the Institute for Numerical Analysis at UCLA. The status of automatic computing in 1948 and 1949 is presented from contemporary documents. Finally, some details of the SWAC design and an extensive bibliography are given.

Keywords and phrases: SWAC, National Bureau of Standards, Standards Western Automatic Computer, Institute for Numerical Analysis, Zephyr

CR categories: 1.2, 6.2, 6.3

1 The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer

The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC) was conceived on 19 October 1948. Construction was started in January 1949 and it was dedicated on 17- 19 August 1950. It continued- in operation for 17 years, being retired from service in December 1967.

To set the background for the origin of the SWAC project I will begin by describing the computer activities of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) and the status of high-speed computing in the United States in 1948.

2 The National Applied Mathematics Laboratories

The National Bureau of Standards had been active in computing since 1938 in its sponsorship of the Mathematical Tables Project in New York City. The Planning Division of the Office of Research and Invention (later Office of Naval Research) felt the need for a national computing center. Cooperation with NBS led to the establishment of the National Applied Mathematics Laboratories (NAML) as Division 11 of NBS (July 1947). A prospectus of the proposed division was published in February 1947. There was to be an Applied Mathematics Executive Council

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 2 Number 2, Pages 111-121

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The National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC)

(AMEC), which would represent governm...