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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 18 Number 1 -- Happenings

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129918D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 19 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

GEOFFREY BOWKER: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

At the 1994 Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology in Lowell Massachusetts, a group of computer historians gathered to discuss new directions for the history of computing. Among other conclusions, the historians agreed that much more attention should be given to the ";embedding"; of the computer into all areas of society in recent decades, areas stretching from science to education to entertainment. Why have historians not studied this embedding more extensively already? One reason is the small number of historians studying the field at all. Another is the problem of sources. Few bodies of material allow historians to see easily across broad segments of the field, or to gain perspective on the breadth of the changes computers are bringing. They can more easily locate sources on a particular development, a specific company or a small series of landmark changes. This article will discuss one general source of information on the penetration of computers into our society -- the records of the annual Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program (CWSA) housed in the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History.

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Page 1 of 19

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1996 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Happenings

GEOFFREY BOWKER, EDITOR

The Happenings Department reports on past, present, and future events of interest to the history of computing. These events include conferences, appropriate sessions from meetings, exhibits, projects, awards, publications, collections, general memorabilia, and important dates in the history of computing.

Contributions to the department are encouraged and should consist of a description or report of the event, highlighting its specific relevance.

The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards, 1989-1994

Introduction

At the 1994 Annual Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology in Lowell Massachusetts, a group of computer historians gathered to discuss new directions for the history of computing. Among other conclusions, the historians agreed that much more attention should be given to the "embedding" of the computer into all areas of society in recent decades, areas stretching from science to education to entertainment.

Why have historians not studied this embedding more extensively already? One reason is the small number of historians studying the field at all. Another is the problem of sources. Few bodies of material allow historians to see easily across broad segments of the field, or to gain perspective on the breadth of the changes computers are bringing. They can more easily locate sources on a particular development, a specific company or a small series of landmark changes.

This article will discuss one general source of information on the penetration of computers into our society -- the records of the annual Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program (CWSA) housed in the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History.

Structure of the CWSA Program

The CWSA program started in 1989 as a collaboration between Computerworld, a leading weekly newspaper that focuses on the computer and information technology industry, and the Smithsonian Institution, a keeper of the nation's historical and scientific culture. The awards are presented annually to men and women who have achieved outstanding progress for society through visionary use of information technology. Two types of awards are given. The first are awards for outstanding applications of technology in 10 different fields:

-- Media, Arts and Entertainment -- Medicine -- Science -- Education and Academia -- Environment, Energy and Agriculture -- Transportation -- Business and Related Services --

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 30, 1996 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 18 Number 1, Pages 56-66

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IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Volume 18 Number 1 -- Happenings

Finance, Insurance and Real Estate -- Government and Nonprofit Organizations -- Manufacturing

Nominations for the category awards are made by members of the Cha...