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Anecdotes: UNIVAC Trounces Its Own Creator Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129756D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Harry Polachek: AUTHOR [+2]


11801 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 USA

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Copyright ©; 1992 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Anecdotes: UNIVAC Trounces Its Own Creator

Harry Polachek

11801 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 USA

Considerable attention is being given these days to computer chess programs and to encounters between computers and human chess players. One of the early man-machine encounters took place on October 16, 1953, during the dedication ceremony of the Navy's first general- purpose high-speed electronic digital computer system at the Applied Mathematics Laboratory of the Naval Ship Research and Development Center in Carderock, Maryland. It was not an ordinary encounter, because it was between one of the early UNIVAC systems and John
W. Mauchly, the inventor and designer (with J. Presper Eckert, Jr.) of the UNIVAC.

Among the guests attending the ceremony were General Leslie R. Groves. former head of the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb; Admiral W.D. Leggett, Chief of the Bureau of Ships; Admiral A.G. Mumma, Commanding Officer of the Naval Ship Research and Development Center (later president of the American Society of Naval Engineers); and other notables as well as Dr. Mauchly. The dedication consisted of a series of formal talks by representatives of the Navy and the computer manufacturer, followed by a demonstration of the UN IVAC. Several problems were programmed to demonstrate the versatility of the UNIVAC. For instance, as a finale, the computer was programmed to play "Anchors Aweigh.

One of the demonstrations consisted of a simple game played by two players, commonly called "Pick up Sticks." The game is played as follows. A n...