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History of the Journal Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation, 1959-1965

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129893D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 11 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

HARRY POLACHEK: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article discusses the history of Mathematical Tables and other Aids to computation during the years 1959 through 1965, a period in which major changes took place in the publication of the journal. Among these were the transfer of publication from the National Research Council to the American Mathematical Society and the change in the name of the journal to Mathematics of Computation.

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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.

History of the Journal Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation, 1959-1965

HARRY POLACHEK

The journal Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation was founded by Professor Raymond Clare Archibald in 1943. It was published by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. For a time it was the only journal dealing exclusively with computation and computing devices. In its July 1946 issue it published the landmark article The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENMC)" by Herman H. Goldstine and Adele Goldstine, which described in detail the first large-scale electrons computer, the ENIAC.

This article discusses the history of Mathematical Tables and other Aids to computation during the years 1959 through 1965, a period in which major changes took place in the publication of the journal. Among these were the transfer of publication from the National Research Council to the American Mathematical Society and the change in the name of the journal to Mathematics of Computation.

Although the present article deals mainly with the history of the journal Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation (MTAC) during the critical years 1959 through 1965, it is important to go back and briefly review its history from the time it was founded in 1943. MTAC was established in January 1943 largely through the efforts of Professor Raymond Clare Archibald of Brown University, who was its first chairman of the editorial committee. It was published by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Its publication by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences was highly unusual. Except for publishing the proceedings of its own meetings, the academy does not engage in the publication of journals, technical or otherwise. It was as a result of the high esteem held for Professor Archibald, combined with the fact that there existed for a number of years prior to the publication of MTAC a Committee on Mathematical Tables and other Aids to Computation sponsored by the Division of Physical Sciences of the National Research Council, on behalf of which the journal was published, that the academy agreed to its publication.

It is difficult for a person living in 1995, during the present age of computer technology, to fully appreciate the significance of the launching of a new journal devoted exclusively to computation and computing devices in the year 1943, or to understand why the rather lengthy and cumbersome title was used. It should be pointed out that for a full decade, until January 1953, when-the Association for Computing Machinery began publishing its journal, MTAC remained the only journal dealing entirely with computation and computing machines. We will therefore go back 52 years and try to describe bri...