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Biographies: Obituaries -- George Robert Stibitz

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129883D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jun-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

ERIC WEISS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

George Robert Stibitz,

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Biographies: Obituaries -- George Robert Stibitz

ERIC WEISS, EDITOR

George Robert Stibitz,

pioneer of digital computing and remote job entry, died on January 31, 1995, at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire. He was 90. At the time of his death, he was professor emeritus of physiology at the medical school of Dartmouth College.

In the fall of 1937, while an engineer at Bell Labs, Dr. Stibitz used surplus relays, tin-can strips, flashlight bulbs, and other canonical items to construct his "Model K" (for kitchen table) breadboard digital calculator, which could add two bits and display the result. A replica of this device is now on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Bell Labs recognized a potential solution to the problem of high-speed complex-number calculation, which was holding back contemporary development of wide area telephone networks. By late 1938 the laboratory had authorized development of a full-scale relay calculator on the Stibitz model; Stibitz and his design team began construction in April 1939. The end product, known as the Complex Number Calculator, first ran on January 8,1940.

On September 11 of that year, during a meeting of the American Mathematical Society at Dartmouth College, Dr. Stibitz used a Teletype to transmit problems to the Complex Number Calculator a...