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The Computing Program of the Office of Naval Research, 1946-1953

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129387D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

MINA REES: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The computing program of the Office of Naval Research was concerned primarily with numerical analysis and with computers developed at universities; but ONR also participated in the National Bureau of Standards program, under which the UN/VAC was successfully produced commercially for the Census Bureau and the SEAC and SWAC were constructed at NBS. By 1953, ONR's principal computer projects, at the Institute for Advanced Study and at MIT, had produced important results; numerical analysis had emerged as a respectable field of mathematical research; and large commercial companies, which had held back in the immediate postwar years, had committed themselves to the manufacture of computers.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Computing Program of the Office of Naval Research, 1946-1953

MINA REES

  (Image Omitted: © 1982 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: Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, 33 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036. 1982 © AFIPS 0164-1239/82/020102-120

The Computing Program of the Office of Naval Research, 1946-1953

MINA REES 00/00)

The computing program of the Office of Naval Research was concerned primarily with numerical analysis and with computers developed at universities; but ONR also participated in the National Bureau of Standards program, under which the UN/VAC was successfully produced commercially for the Census Bureau and the SEAC and SWAC were constructed at NBS. By 1953, ONR's principal computer projects, at the Institute for Advanced Study and at MIT, had produced important results; numerical analysis had emerged as a respectable field of mathematical research; and large commercial companies, which had held back in the immediate postwar years, had committed themselves to the manufacture of computers.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: A. O [General] -- Biographies, M. Rees; G. 1 [Numerical Analysis1: General; K. 2 [History of Computing] -- hardware; systems; people, M. Bees General Terms: Design, Experimentation, Management Additional Key Words and Phrases: ONR, NBS, NAML, AMEC, INA, transfer of funds, Census Bureau, Eckert- Mauchly, Air Comptroller, Logistics Research Project, Dantzig, UN/VAC, SEAC, SWAC, Raytheon, IAS computer, Whirlwind, X-RAC, CALD/C, Logistics Computer, von Neumann, Goldstine, Forrester, Curtiss, Tompkins, Alexander, Huskey, Beckenbach, Rigby

Introduction

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) played a vital role in the postwar support of basic research in the sciences at the nation's universities in the years immediately following World War II before the establishment of the National Science Foundation in 1950 and its expanded funding a few years later. Part of ONR's mathematics program was devoted to the support of computers and computing, and this paper will report on that aspect of ONR's activities and the related activities at the National Bureau of Standards.11

1 1. Other major activities affecting the development of computers were being supported by the military services, particularly the ordnance offices of the army and navy, a...