Browse Prior Art Database

IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 12 Number 2 -- Happenings Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129655D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

J. A. N. LEE: AUTHOR [+2]



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Copyright ©; 1990 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.




Heinz Zemanek, Austria's Computer Pioneer, Turns 70

On January 11th, 1990, Austrian Computer Society (die Osterreichische Computer Gesellschaft), the Austrian Society for Electronics (der Osterreichische Verbad Elecktrotechnik) and the Technical Museum of Vienna (das Technische Museum Wien) honored Heinz Zemanek, editor and frequent author for the Annals of the History of Computing, on the occasion of his 70th Birthday. The celebration at the Technical Museum of Vienna was also the occasion to present the Heinz Zemanek Prize to a young Austrian computer scientist.

Zemanek was born in Vienna in 1920; he studied low-voltage technology at the Technical University of Vienna, and was appointed as an Assistant at the Institute for Low-voltage Technology where he received his Ph.D. in Engineering. In 1959 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor of low-frequency communications technology, promoted to Associate Professor in 1964 and twenty years later (1984) to Full Professor. He is a member of various academies of science and has received a honorary doctorate from several universities.

Starting in 1954, he was responsible for the development of the first fully-transistorized computer in Europe, the legendary MAILUFTERL, which is now in the Technical Museum of Vienna. He was the originator of both teaching and research in the area of electronic data processing at the Technical University of Vienna.

Along with the rest of MAILUFTERL team, Zemanek moved to IBM in 1961 to become the developer and director of the Viennese laboratory with primary work in the area of programming languages and their formal definition, especially the programming language PL/I. In 1976 he was awarded the title of IBM fellow and undertook a project entitled Abstract Architecture.

During his career, Zemanek has published more than 400 articles, authored, co-authored or edited more than 15 books, ranging from highly specialized journal articles to introductory articles of general interest, philosophical treatises, commentaries on the social implications of the computer, and historical studies (among others a presentation of the history of computers in a text and picture collage for the Technical Museum of Vienna).

He has been active in both national and international professional circles, with considerable contributions to IFIP (The International Federation for Information Processing), beginning in the year of its founding -- 1959, where he represented Austria's interests. He was also responsible for the 1975 founding of the OCG (Austrian Computer Society). Zemanek served as president of both organizations and these contributions have been recognized by many high honors and awards. Starting in 1985 the OCG has awarded the Heinz Zemanek Prize t...