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John von Neumann 's Influence on Electronic Digital Computing, 1944- 1946

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129357D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 22 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

NANCY STERN: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The work of John von Neumann is acknowledged to be of singular importance to the computing field. Yet his work has not been studied to any appreciable degree by historians. This paper focuses on von Neumann's early involvement with the ENIAC and the EDVAC during the years 1944 to 1946 while he was a consultant to the Moore School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania. The paper considers some of the issues relating to con Neumann's influence on the Moore School work, on the stored-program concept, and on the future of electronic digital computers in general. Keywords and phrases: John von Neumann, stored-program concept, EDVAC, ENIAC CR category: 1.2

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

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

John von Neumann 's Influence on Electronic Digital Computing, 1944- 1946

NANCY STERN

(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 Administrative Computer Systems, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11550. © 1980 AFIPS 0164- 1239/80/040349-362

John von Neumann 's Influence on Electronic Digital Computing, 1944- 1946

NANCY STERN .00/0)

The work of John von Neumann is acknowledged to be of singular importance to the computing field. Yet his work has not been studied to any appreciable degree by historians. This paper focuses on von Neumann's early involvement with the ENIAC and the EDVAC during the years 1944 to 1946 while he was a consultant to the Moore School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania. The paper considers some of the issues relating to con Neumann's influence on the Moore School work, on the stored-program concept, and on the future of electronic digital computers in general. Keywords and phrases: John von Neumann, stored- program concept, EDVAC, ENIAC CR category: 1.2

The influence of John von Neumann 's work on the history of electronic digital computing has been substantial. Indeed, no single article could adequately address all of the aspects of that influence.

The purpose of this paper is to focus on von Neumann's contributions to, and interaction with, the Moore School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania during the early years of computer development -- that is, from 1944-1946.

Two major projects were undertaken at the Moore School during this time. In 1943, the Army Ordnance Department provided $500,000 to the Moore School for the design and construction of the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). This was the United States' first electronic digital computer and was completed in 1946.

In 1944, the Army Ordnance Department signed a second contract with the Moore School for the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer). This was the first electronic digital computer designed to incorporate the stored-program concept. Both projects were undertaken by John Presper Eckert, Jr., as chief engineer, and John William Mauchly, as principal consultant.

IEEE Computer Society, Oct 01, 1980 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 2 Number 4, Pages 349-362

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