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Encyclopedia > John Mauchly
Eckert and Mauchly examine a printout of ENIAC results in a newsreel from February 1946.

John William Mauchly (August 30, 1907January 8, 1980) was an American physicist who, along with J. Presper Eckert, designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States. Image File history File links PresEckertJohnMauchlyENIAC.jpg‎ J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, inventors of the ENIAC, examine a printout of the computers results in newsreel footage from February 1946. ... Image File history File links PresEckertJohnMauchlyENIAC.jpg‎ J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, inventors of the ENIAC, examine a printout of the computers results in newsreel footage from February 1946. ... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... January 8 is the 8th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ... Articles with similar titles include physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Eckert and Mauchly examine a printout of ENIAC results in a newsreel from February 1946. ... ENIAC ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer,[1] was the first large-scale, electronic, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems,[2] although earlier computers had been built with some of these properties. ... ... The EDVAC as installed in Building 328 at the Ballistics Research Laboratory. ... BINAC, the Binary Automatic Computer, was an early electronic computer designed for Northrop Aircraft Company by the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1949. ... UNIVAC I Central Complex, containing the central processor and main memory unit. ...


Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. Their work, as exposed in the widely read First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (1945) and as taught in the Moore School Lectures (1946) influenced an explosion of computer development in the late 1940s all over the world. The Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) was founded by J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, and was incorporated on December 22, 1947. ... The so-called von Neumann architecture is a model for a computing machine that uses a single storage structure to hold both the set of instructions on how to perform the computation and the data required or generated by the computation. ... In computer science, a subroutine (function, procedure, or subprogram) is a sequence of code which performs a specific task, as part of a larger program, and is grouped as one, or more, statement blocks; such code is sometimes collected into software libraries. ... The First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (or First Draft) was an incomplete 101-page document written by John von Neumann and distributed on June 30, 1945 by Herman Goldstine, security officer on the classified ENIAC project. ... Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers (popularly called the Moore School Lectures) was the a course in the construction of electronic digital computers held at the University of Pennsylvanias Moore School of Electrical Engineering between July 8, 1946 and August 30, 1946, and was the first...

Contents

Early life and education

Mauchly was born August 30, 1907 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland while his father Sebastian Mauchly was a physicist at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, D.C. He earned the Engineering Scholarship of the State of Maryland, which enabled him to enroll at Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 1925 as an undergraduate in the Electrical Engineering program. In 1927 he enrolled directly in a Ph.D. program there and transferred to the graduate physics program of the university. He completed his Ph.D. in 1932 and became a professor of physics at Ursinus College near Philadelphia, where he taught from 1933 to 1941. August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Nickname: Location in Hamilton County, Ohio, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Ohio County Hamilton Founded 1788 Incorporated 1802 (village) - 1819 (city) Government  - Type Strong mayor  - Mayor Mark L. Mallory (D) Area  - City  79. ... Chevy Chase is the name of both a town and an unincorporated Census-Designated Place in Montgomery County, Maryland (see Chevy Chase (CDP), Maryland). ... The Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ... Ursinus College is a small, coeducational, liberal arts college in Collegeville, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. ... Nickname: Motto: Philadelphia maneto - Let brotherly love continue Location in Pennsylvania Coordinates: Country United States Commonwealth Pennsylvania County Philadelphia Founded October 27, 1682 Incorporated October 25, 1701 Government  - Mayor John F. Street (D) Area  - City 369. ...


Moore School

In 1941 Dr. Mauchly took a course in wartime electronics at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering, part of the University of Pennsylvania. There he met J. Presper Eckert, a recent Moore School graduate. Mauchly accepted a teaching position at the Moore School, which was a center for wartime computing. Eckert encouraged Mauchly to believe that vacuum tubes could be made reliable with proper engineering practices. The critical problem that was consuming the Moore School was ballistics: the calculation of firing tables for the large number of new guns that the U.S. Army was developing for the war effort. The Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania came into existence as a result of an endowment from Alfred Fitler Moore on June 4th, 1923. ... This article is about the private Ivy League university in Philadelphia. ... Eckert and Mauchly examine a printout of ENIAC results in a newsreel from February 1946. ...


ENIAC

In 1942 Mauchly wrote a memo proposing the building of a general-purpose electronic computer. The proposal, which circulated within the Moore School (but the significance of which was not immediately recognized), emphasized the enormous speed advantage that could be gained by using digital electronics with no moving parts. Lieutenant Herman Goldstine, who was the liaison between the United States Army and Moore School, picked up on the idea and asked Mauchly to write a formal proposal. In April 1943, the Army contracted with the Moore School to build the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). Mauchly led the conceptual design while Eckert led the hardware engineering on ENIAC. A number of other talented engineers contributed to the top secret project "PX". 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Herman Heine Goldstine (September 13, 1913 – June 16, 2004) was one of the original developers of ENIAC. He worked closely with John von Neumann. ... The United States Army is one of the armed forces of the United States and has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... ENIAC ENIAC, short for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer,[1] was the first large-scale, electronic, digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems,[2] although earlier computers had been built with some of these properties. ...


Because of its high-speed calculations, ENIAC could solve problems that were previously unsolvable. It was roughly a thousand times faster than the existing technology. It could add 5,000 numbers or do fourteen 10-digit multiplications in one second.


ENIAC could be programmed to perform sequences and loops of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square-root, input/output functions, and conditional branches. Programming was initially accomplished with patch cords and switches, and reprogramming took days. It was redesigned in 1948 to allow the use of stored programs with some loss in speed. Energy Input: The energy placed into a reaction. ... The so-called von Neumann architecture is a model for a computing machine that uses a single storage structure to hold both the set of instructions on how to perform the computation and the data required or generated by the computation. ...


EDVAC

The ENIAC design was frozen in 1944 to allow construction. Eckert and Mauchly were already aware of the limitations of the machine and began plans on a second computer, to be called EDVAC. By January of 1945 they had procured a contract to build this stored-program computer. Eckert had proposed a mercury delay line memory to store both program and data. Later that year, mathematician John von Neumann learned of the project and joined in some of the engineering discussions. He produced what was understood to be an internal document describing the EDVAC. General Name, Symbol, Number mercury, Hg, 80 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 12, 6, d Appearance silvery Standard atomic weight 200. ... Mercury memory of UNIVAC I (1951) Delay line memory was a form of computer memory used on some of the earliest digital computers, such as the EDSAC and UNIVAC I. The basic concept of the delay line originated with World War II radar research, specifically to reduce clutter from reflections... John von Neumann (Hungarian Margittai Neumann János Lajos) (born December 28, 1903 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary; died February 8, 1957 in Washington D.C., United States) was a Hungarian-born American mathematician and polymath who made contributions to quantum physics, functional analysis, set theory, topology, economics, computer science, numerical...


The term von Neumann architecture arose from von Neumann's paper, First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC [1]. Dated June 30, 1945, it was an early written account of a general purpose stored-program computing machine (the EDVAC). Goldstine, in a move that was to become controversial, removed any reference to Eckert or Mauchly and distributed the document to a number of von Neumann's associates across the country. The ideas became widely known within the very small world of computer designers. Design of the Von Neumann architecture For the robotic architecture also named after Von Neumann, see Von Neumann machine The von Neumann architecture is a computer design model that uses a single storage structure to hold both instructions and data. ... The First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (or First Draft) was an incomplete 101-page document written by John von Neumann and distributed on June 30, 1945 by Herman Goldstine, security officer on the classified ENIAC project. ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday. ... The EDVAC as installed in Building 328 at the Ballistics Research Laboratory. ...


Besides the lack of credit, Eckert and Mauchly suffered additional setbacks due to Goldstine's actions. The ENIAC patent U.S. Patent 3,120,606 , issued in 1964 [2] was filed on June 26, 1947, and granted February 4, 1964, but the public disclosure of design details of EDVAC in the First Draft (which were also common to ENIAC) was later cited as one cause for the 1973 invalidation of the ENIAC patent. June 26 is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 188 days remaining. ... 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1947 calendar). ... February 4 is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Honeywell, Inc. ...


The Moore School Lectures

Main article: Moore School Lectures

In March 1946, just after the ENIAC was announced, the Moore School decided to change their patent policy, in order to gain commercial rights to any future and past computer development there. Eckert and Mauchly decided this was unacceptable; they resigned. However they had already been contracted to do one more thing at the Moore School: to give a series of talks on computer design. Theory and Techniques for Design of Electronic Digital Computers (popularly called the Moore School Lectures) was the a course in the construction of electronic digital computers held at the University of Pennsylvanias Moore School of Electrical Engineering between July 8, 1946 and August 30, 1946, and was the first...


The course "The Theory and Techniques for Design of Digital Computers", ran from July 8 to August 31, 1946. Eckert gave 11 of the lectures; Mauchly and Goldstine each delivered 6. "The Moore School Lectures", as they came to be known, were attended by representatives from the army, the navy, MIT, the National Bureau of Standards, Cambridge University, Columbia, Harvard, the Institute for Advanced Study, IBM, Bell Labs, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, and National Cash Register. A number of the attendees were to later go on to develop computers, such as Maurice Wilkes, of Cambridge, who built EDSAC. July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 176 days remaining. ... August 31 is the 243rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (244th in leap years), with 122 days remaining. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ...


Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation

In 1947 Eckert and Mauchly formed the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC); Mauchly was president. They secured a contract with the National Bureau of Standards to build an "EDVAC II", later named UNIVAC. UNIVAC, the first computer designed for business applications, had many significant technical advantages such as magnetic tape for mass storage. As an interrim product The company created and delivered a smaller computer, BINAC, but were still in shaky financial situation. There were purchased by Remington Rand and became the UNIVAC division. The Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) was founded by J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly, and was incorporated on December 22, 1947. ... As a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce’s Technology Administration, the National Institute of Standards (NIST) develops and promotes measurement, standards, and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade, and improve the quality of life. ... UNIVAC serves as the catch-all name for the American manufacturers of the lines of mainframe computers by that name, which through mergers and acquisitions underwent numerous name changes. ... BINAC, the Binary Automatic Computer, was an early electronic computer designed for Northrop Aircraft Company by the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation in 1949. ... A Remington Rand branded typewriter Remington Rand was an early American computer manufacturer, best known as the original maker of the UNIVAC I, and now part of Unisys. ...


Software

Mauchly’s interest lay in the application of computers, as well as to their architecture and organization. His experience with programming the ENIAC and its successors led him to create Short Code (see "The UNIVAC SHORT CODE"), the first programming language actually used on a computer (predated by Zuse’s conceptual Plankalkul). It was a pseudocode interpreter for mathematical problems proposed in 1949 and ran on the UNIVAC I and II. Mauchly's belief in the importance of languages led him to hire Grace Murray Hopper to develop a compiler for the UNIVAC. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Plankalkül (German, Plan Calculus) is a computer language developed for engineering purposes by Konrad Zuse. ... Grace Hopper (January 1984) Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 - January 1, 1992) was an early computer pioneer. ...


John Mauchly has also been credited for being the first one using the verb "to program" in his 1942 paper on electronic computing, although in the context of ENIAC, not in its current meaning. A computer program is a collection of instructions that describe a task, or set of tasks, to be carried out by a computer. ...


Career

Dr. Mauchly stayed involved in computers for the rest of his life. He was a founding member and President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and also helped found the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The Eckert-Mauchly Cormporation was bought by Remington Rand in 1950 and for ten years Dr. Mauchly remained as Director of Univac Applications Research. Leaving in 1959 he formed Mauchly Associates, a consulting company that later introduced the Critical Path Method (CPM) for construction scheduling by computer. In 1967 he founded Dynatrend, a computer consulting organization. In 1973 he became a consultant to Sperry Univac.


Awards

Mauchly received numerous award and honors. He was a life member of the Franklin Institute, the National Academy of Engineering and the Society for Advancement of Management. He was elected a Fellow of the IRE, a predecessor society of IEEE, in 1957, and was a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. He received an LLD (Hon) degree from the University of Pennsylvania and aDSc(Hon) degree from Ursinus College. He was a recipient of the Philadelphia Award, the Scott Medal, the Goode Medal of AFIPS (American Federation of Information Processing Societies), the Pennsylvania Award, the Emanual R. Piore Award, the Potts Medal, and numerous other awards. He also had an enormous penis.


Patent controversy

Mauchly and Eckert's patent claim on the 1946 ENIAC was invalidated by U.S. Federal Court decision in October, 1973 for several reasons. Some had to do with the time between publication (the First Draft) and the patent filing date (1947.) Judge Larson ruled that "the subject matter was derived" from the earlier Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC). This statement has become the center of a controversy. 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Honeywell, Inc. ... 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Atanasoff-Berry Computer replica at 1st floor of Durham Center, Iowa State University The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) was one of the first electronic digital computing device. ...


Critics note that while the court said that the ABC was the first electronic digital computer, it did not define the term computer. It had originally referred to a person who computes, but was adapted to apply to a machine. Some of these critics say that the ABC does not meet their modern definition, which requires programmability.[citation needed] A BlueGene supercomputer cabinet. ... Before mechanical and electronic computers, the term computer, in use from the mid 17th century, meant a human undertaking mathematical calculations. ...


Critics of the court decision also note that there is, at a component level, nothing in common between the two machines. The ABC was binary; the ENIAC was decimal. The ABC used regenerative drum memory; The ENIAC used electronic decade counters. The ABC used its tubes to implement a binary serial adder while the ENIAC used tubes to implement a complete set of decimal operations. The ENIAC's general-purpose instruction set, together with the ability to automatically sequence through them, made it a general-purpose computer.


Another point frequently raised is that the ABC was never completely functional. The input-output mechanism was not reliable enough to finish a problem (30 equations with 29 unknowns) without error. Also, the machine used a 60 Hz clock, limiting it to 30 operations per second. But these issues have no relevance to the patentability of the ABC or of the ENIAC. The hertz (symbol: Hz) is the SI unit of frequency. ...


Proponents for the court decision emphasize that the testimony established that Mauchly definitely had complete access to Atanasoff's machine and the documents describing it. Letters he wrote to Atanasoff show that he was at one time at least considering building on Atanasoff's approach.


Others claim that the decision was made irrespective of who had invented the computer, it was actually made to break up a monopoly created by a secretive deal between IBM and Sperry, when the traded licenses to IBM's punch card and Sperry's ENIAC patent.


Mauchly consistently maintained that it was the use of high-speed electronic flip-flops in cosmic-ray counting devices at Swarthmore College that gave him the idea for computing at electronic speeds. Swarthmore College is a private, independent, liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of about 1,450 students. ...


References

  • McCartney, Scott (1999). ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer. Walker & Co.. ISBN 0-8027-1348-3. 
  • Shurkin, Joel N. (1996). Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors. W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-01804-0. 
  • Antonelli, Kathleen R. (April 1984). "John Mauchly's Early Years". Annals of the History of Computing 6 (2): 116-138. 
  • Stern, Nancy (1981). From ENIAC to UNIVAC: An Appraisal of the Eckert-Mauchly Computers. Bedford, Massachusetts: Digital Press. ISBN 0-932376-14-2. 
  • Norberg, Arthur L. (2005-06-01). Computers and Commerce: A Study of Technology and Management at Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, Engineering Research Associates, and Remington Rand, 1946-1957. The MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-14090-X. 

Kathleen Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli (February 12, 1921 – April 20, 2006) was one of the seven original programmers for the ENIAC computer. ...

External links

  • John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer - by Asaf Goldschmidt and Atsushi Akera, An Exhibition in the Department of Special Collections Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania

  Results from FactBites:
 
John Mauchly - Facts, Information, and Encyclopedia Reference article (237 words)
John William Mauchly (August 30, 1907 – January 8, 1980) was an American physicist and computer engineer who, along with J.
Mauchly and Eckert's patent claim on the 1946 ENIAC was invalidated by U.S. Federal Court decision in October, 1973.
John Mauchly, nearly singlehandedly, changed the world in which we live.
John von Neumann (2003 words)
Any computer scientist who reviews the formal obituaries of John von Neumann of the period shortly after his death will be struck by the lack of recognition of his involvement in the field of computers and computing.
A retrospective examination of the development [3] of this idea reveals that the concept was discussed by J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, Arthur Burks, and others in connection with their plans for a successor machine to the ENIAC.
The IEEE John von Neumann Medal was established by the Board of Directors in 1990 and may be presented annually "for outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology." The achievements may be theoretical, technological, or entrepreneurial, and need not have been made immediately prior to the date of the award.
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