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The Wiener Memorandum on the Mechanical Solution of Partial Differential Equations Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129537D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 15 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

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This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

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Copyright ©; 1987 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

The Wiener Memorandum on the Mechanical Solution of Partial Differential Equations





Categories and Subject Descriptors: K2 /computing Mileux]: History of Computing -- hardware.
G. 1.8 [Mathematics of Computing]: Numerical Analysis -- partial differential equations; difference methods. General Terms: Design, Theory Additional Key Words and Phrases: Norbert Wiener, Conceptual Machines


Goldstine, H. H. 1972. The Computer from Pascal to von Nellmann. Princeton, N.J., Princeton Univ. Press. Goldstine, H. H. and J. von Neumann. 1963. "On the Principles of Large-Scale Computing Machine, 1946" (unpublished). In John von Neumann, Collected Works, Vol. 5, New York, Pergamon Press, pp. 1-32.

Gould, K. E. 1929. "A New Machine for Integrating a Functional Product." J. Math. Physics 17 pp. 305316.

Hazen, H. L. and G. S. Brown. 1940. "The Cinema Integraph. A Machine for Integrating a Parametric Product Integral." J. Franklin Institute 230 pp. 1944, 183-205.

Masani, P., and R. S. Phillips. 1985. Antiaircraft Fire Control and the Emergence of Cybernetics,
N. Wiener Coll. Works, Vol. IV, Cambridge Mass., MIT Press, pp. 141-179.

McCulloch, W., and W. Pitts. 1943. "A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity. Bull. Math. Biophys. 5, pp. 115- 133.

Shannon, C. E. 1938. "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits, Trans. Am. Inst. Electr. Eng. 57, pp. 713-723.

Letter Covering the Memorandum on the Scope, etc., of a Suggested Computing Machine (September 21, 1940)

N. Wiener*1

1 *Reprinted from pp. 122-124 of Norbert Wiener: Collected Works, Volume IV, edited by P. Masani, MIT copyright, 1985, with the kind permission of the publishers, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 02142.

IEEE Computer Society, Mar 31, 1987 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 9 Number 2, Pages 183-197

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The Wiener Memorandum on the Mechanical Solution of Partial Differential Equations

September 21, 1940 Dr. Vannevar Bush Carnegie Institution Washington, D.C. Dear Bush:

In response to your suggestion of this morning, I am sending you a memorandum concerning my proposed computing machine for the solution of boundary value problems in partial differential equations.

This device solves a partial difference equation involving the time, and asymptotically equivalent to a partial differential equation involving the time, yielding for infinite time a purely space partial differential equation which may be of very different forms. This partial difference equation is solved by an apparatus which repeatedly scans a collection of data recorded on some very inexpensive device and replaces these data by new data. This replacement is done by an apparatus which, as there is only one of it, may be reasonably elaborate without making...