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Encyclopedia > Vannevar Bush
Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890June 30, 1974) was an American engineer and science administrator, known for his political role in the development of the atomic bomb, and the idea of the memex—seen as a pioneering concept for the World Wide Web. His name is pronounced Van-NEE-var as in "receiver" (IPA: [ˌvæˈniː.vɚ]). He was unrelated to the Bush political family. Download high resolution version (463x682, 71 KB)www. ... March 11 is the 70th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (71st in Leap year). ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... June 30 is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 184 days remaining. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Look up engineer in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... The memex was a theoretical analog computer described by the scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush in the 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article As We May Think. The word was a portmanteau of memory extender. Bush described the device as electronically linked to a library and able to display books and... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents that runs over the Internet. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... Barbara Bush, Jeb Bush, George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, and George W. Bush watch tee ball on the White House lawn. ...

Contents

Career

Born in Everett, Massachusetts, Bush was educated at Tufts College, graduating in 1913. He earned a doctorate in engineering from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917. His Eng.D. advisor was Arthur Edwin Kennelly. During World War I he worked with the National Research Council in developing improved techniques for detecting submarines. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at MIT in 1919, and was a professor there from 1923–32. He constructed a Differential Analyser, an analog computer that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. An offshoot of the work at MIT was the birth of digital circuit design theory by one of Bush's graduate students, Claude Shannon. Bush became vice-president and dean of engineering at MIT from 1932–38. This post included many of the powers and functions subsumed by the Provost when MIT introduced this post in 1949 including some appointments of lecturers to specific posts.   Everett is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts near Boston. ... Tufts University is a university located in Medford, Massachusetts (near Boston). ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, is a private coeducational research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. MIT has five schools and one college, containing 32 academic departments,[2] with a strong emphasis on theoretical, applied, and interdisciplinary scientific and technological research. ... Arthur Edwin Kennelly (December 17, 1861 - June 18, 1939), was an American engineer in electricity. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Franz... The National Research Council of the USA is the working arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, carrying out most of the studies done in their names. ... The differential analyser was a mechanical analog computer designed to solve differential equations by integration, using wheel-and-disc mechanisms to perform the integration. ... A page from the Bombardiers Information File (BIF) that describes the components and controls of the Norden bombsight. ... An illustration of a differential equation. ... Digital circuits are electric circuits based on a number of discrete voltage levels. ... Claude Elwood Shannon (April 30, 1916 _ February 24, 2001) has been called the father of information theory, and was the founder of practical digital circuit design theory. ...


In 1939 Bush accepted the prestigious appointment as president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, which awarded large sums annually for research. As president, Bush was able to influence the direction of research in the U.S. towards military objectives and could informally advise the government on scientific matters. In 1939 he fully moved into the political arena with his appointment as chairman of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. The Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW) is a foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1902 to support scientific research. ... NACA official seal The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. ...


In 1940, Bush became chairman of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC). Bush had pressed for the creation of the NDRC because he had seen during World War I the lack of cooperation between civilian scientists and the military. Bush managed to get a meeting with the President on 12 June 1940 and took a single sheet of paper describing the proposed agency. Roosevelt approved it in ten minutes. Government officials then complained that Bush was making a grab for power, by-passing them. Bush later agreed: "That, in fact, is exactly what it was." This co-ordination of scientific effort was instrumental in the Allies winning the Second World War. Alfred Loomis said that "Of the men whose death in the summer of 1940 would have been the greatest calamity for America, the President is first, and Dr. Bush would be second or third." In June of 1940, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) to coordinate, supervise, and conduct scientific research on the problems underlying the development, production, and use of mechanisms and devices of warfare. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Franz... June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Alfred Lee Loomis (1887-1975) was a wealthy scientist who funded and championed the development of radar in the United States. ...


In 1941 the NDRC was subsumed into the Office of Scientific Research and Development with Bush as director, which controlled the Manhattan Project and which also coordinated wartime scientific research during World War II. In July 1945, his report Science, The Endless Frontier recommended the creation of what would become in 1950 the National Science Foundation, in an effort to cement the ties between science, industry and the military which had been forged during the war. Bush was also a co-founder of the defense contractor Raytheon. In June of 1941, the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) superseded the committee structure [of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC)]. The OSRD projects gave the United States and Allied troops more powerful and more accurate bombs, more reliable detonators, lighter and more accurate weapons, safer and more... The Manhattan Project resulted in the development of the first nuclear weapons, and the first-ever nuclear detonation, at the Trinity test of July 16, 1945. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... The logo of the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. ... A defense contractor (sometimes called a military contractor) is a business organization or individual that provides products or services to a defense department of a government. ... Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is a major United States military contractor based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ...


In 1943, he received the AIEE's Edison Medal 'For his contribution to the advancement of electrical engineering, particularly through the development of new applications of mathematics to engineering problems, and for his eminent service to the nation in guiding the war research program.' The Vannevar Bush Award was created by the National Science Foundation in 1980 to honor contributions to public service. The American Institute of Electrical Engineers was a United States based organization of electrical engineers that existed between 1884 and 1963 (when it merged with the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE)). The 1884 founders of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) included some of the most prominent inventors and... The IEEE Edison Medal is presented by the IEEE for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts. ... The Vannevar Bush Award has been given each year since 1980 by National Science Foundation to persons who contributed most toward the welfare of mankind and the nation. The award is named after the American scientist Vannevar Bush (1890-1974). ... The logo of the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. ...


One of Bush's PhD students at MIT was Frederick Terman who was instrumental in the genesis of "Silicon Valley". Frederick Emmons Terman (born June 7, 1900 in English, Indiana; died December 19, 1982) is widely credited (together with William Shockley) with being the father of Silicon Valley. ... A view of downtown San Jose, the self-proclaimed Capital of Silicon Valley. ...


He despised certain areas of the humanities and social sciences, where prominent work appeared to support radical political views. American anthropology was significantly weakened when he removed[citation needed] a large part of its funding in the 1930s[citation needed]. The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Initiation rite of the Yao people of Malawi Anthropology (from the Greek word , man or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ...


The Memex

He introduced the concept of what he called the memex in the 1930s, a microfilm-based "device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility." The memex was a theoretical analog computer described by the scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush in the 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article As We May Think. The word was a portmanteau of memory extender. Bush described the device as electronically linked to a library and able to display books and... Microfilm machines may be available at libraries or record archives. ...


After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush set out his thoughts at length in the essay "As We May Think" in the Atlantic Monthly which is described as having been written in 1936 but set aside when war loomed. He removed it from his drawer and it was published in July 1945. In the article, Bush predicted that "Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified." A few months later (10 September 1945) Life magazine published a condensed version of "As We May Think," accompanied by several illustrations showing the possible appearance of a memex machine and its companion devices. This version of the essay was subsequently read by both Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart, and was a factor in their independent formulations of the various ideas that became hypertext. Vannevar Bushs essay As We May Think, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, argued that as humans turned from war, scientific efforts should shift from increasing physical abilities to making all previous collected human knowledge more accessible. ... The Atlantic Monthly (also known as The Atlantic) is an American literary/cultural magazine that was founded in November 1857. ... Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon, 1902 An encyclopedia, encyclopaedia or (traditionally) encyclopædia,[1] is a comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge. ... September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. ... Ted Nelson at OpenTech, London, 2005 Theodor Holm Nelson (born 1937) is an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology. ... Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925 in Oregon) is an American inventor of German descent. ...


Michael Buckland, a library scientist, regards the memex as severely flawed and blames it on a limited understanding by Bush of both information science and microfilm[citation needed]. Bush did not refer in his popular essay to the microfilm-based workstation proposed by Leonard Townsend in 1938, or the microfilm- and electronics-based selector described in more detail and patented by Emmanuel Goldberg in 1931[citation needed]. The memex is still an important accomplishment, because it directly inspired the development of hypertext technology. Michael Buckland is an Emeritus Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and Co-Director of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. ... Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Although his work has since served as a rallying point for librarianship and many social sciences he was not involved in the library community, where he might have found support refining his ideas.


Conservative approach

Vannevar Bush overestimated some technological challenges. His name has been applied to such underestimates in jargon [1] He asserted that a nuclear weapon could not be made small enough to fit in the nose of a missile as in an ICBM. In his book "Modern Arms and Free Men", published in 1949, he originally predicted that it would be ten more years before the USSR developed nuclear weapons. The book was on the press when the West detected the first Soviet nuclear test in late August 1949. The presses were duly stopped, and the text corrected. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter. ... Exocet missile in flight A missile (see also pronunciation differences) is a projectile propelled as a weapon at a target. ... A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ...


He also predicted "electronic brains" the size of the Empire State Building with a Niagara Falls–scale cooling system. (This does not look quite so farfetched if Google's entire collection of servers is considered as a single "brain", although it still falls well short of Bush's prediction.) The Empire State Building is a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. ... For other uses, see Niagara Falls (disambiguation). ... Google, Inc. ... Google Company Logo Google, being the most popular Internet search engine (over 50% market share), requires large computational resources in order to provide their service. ...


Bush privately, and then publicly, opposed NASA's manned space program and took the unpopular stance of attacking the moon exploration goals set forth by president John F. Kennedy at a time when the U.S. was nearly perfectly united in supporting it. His opposition was based on fiscal reasons and on his calculated judgment that human lives would be lost in what he considered to be an extremely risky adventure, from an engineering standpoint. This conservative stance is taken to reinforce his reputation as a bad prophet in technological matters, since the deaths in Project Apollo were on the ground, the Apollo 13 crew survived, and the two previous programs were completed without astronaut fatalities. His rational warnings were largely ignored then, and were mostly forgotten by the time the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia disasters took 7 lives each in 1986 and 2003, respectively. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States Government, responsible for that nations public space program. ... For other persons named John Kennedy, see John Kennedy (disambiguation). ... Apollo One is the official name given retroactively to the Apollo/Saturn 204 (AS-204) spacecraft, destroyed by fire during a training exercise on January 27, 1967, at Pad 34 (Launch Complex 34 at Cape Canaveral) atop a Saturn IB rocket. ... Project Apollo was a series of human spaceflight missions undertaken by the United States of America (NASA) using the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn launch vehicle, conducted during the years 1961–1975. ... For further information about Challengers mission and crew, see STS-51-L. An iconic image of the accident. ... The Space Shuttle Columbia breaks up over Texas. ...


Personal life

On 5 September 1916 he married Phoebe Davis in Chelsea, Massachusetts and had two sons Richard Davis Bush and John Hathaway Bush. Vannevar Bush died from pneumonia after suffering a stroke in 1974 in Belmont, Massachusetts. Chelsea City Hall The City of Chelsea is located in Suffolk County, Massachusetts directly across the Mystic River from the City of Boston. ...   Settled: 1636 â€“ Incorporated: 1859 Zip Code(s): 02478 â€“ Area Code(s): 617 / 857 Official website: http://www. ...


Publications

  • 1922, Principles of Electrical Engineering.
  • 1929, Operational Circuit Analysis.
  • 1945, July, "As We May Think", Atlantic Monthly.
  • 1945, Science: The Endless Frontier, a report to president Roosevelt outlining his proposal for post-war U.S. science and technology policy
  • 1946, Endless Horizons, a collection of papers and addresses.
  • 1949, "Modern Arms and Free Men", a discussion of the role of science in preserving democratic institutions.
  • 1967, Science Is Not Enough, essays.
  • 1970, "Pieces of the Action", an examination of science and the state.

Vannevar Bushs essay As We May Think, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, argued that as humans turned from war, scientific efforts should shift from increasing physical abilities to making all previous collected human knowledge more accessible. ...

Biography

  • Zachary, G. Pascal, 1999. Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century. MIT Press....

See also

The memex was a theoretical analog computer described by the scientist and engineer Vannevar Bush in the 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article As We May Think. The word was a portmanteau of memory extender. Bush described the device as electronically linked to a library and able to display books and... Vannevar Bushs essay As We May Think, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in July 1945, argued that as humans turned from war, scientific efforts should shift from increasing physical abilities to making all previous collected human knowledge more accessible. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925 in Oregon) is an American inventor of German descent. ... Ted Nelson at OpenTech, London, 2005 Theodor Holm Nelson (born 1937) is an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology. ... The Vannevar Bush Award has been given each year since 1980 by National Science Foundation to persons who contributed most toward the welfare of mankind and the nation. The award is named after the American scientist Vannevar Bush (1890-1974). ... Majestic-12 (sometimes written simply as MJ-12 or MJ-XII) is the codename of a secret committee, supposedly formed in 1952 to investigate UFO activity. ...

External links

References

    • Buckland, Michael K. "Emanuel Goldberg, Electronic Document Retrieval, And Vannevar Bush's Memex". Journal of the American Society for Information Science 43, no. 4 (May 1992): 284–294
    • Nyce, James M.; Kahn, Paul (eds.) "From Memex to Hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the Mind's Machine". San Diego, London (...) 1991. [A reprint of all of Bush's texts regarding Memex accompanied by related Sources and Studies]

      Results from FactBites:
     
    Vannevar Bush (2063 words)
    Bush's innovative idea for automating human memory was obviously important in the development digital age, but even more important was his influence on the institution of science in America.
    Bush was born on March 11, 1890, in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
    Bush also changed the way basic scientific research was done in the U.S. He proved that technology was key to winning a war and this created a new respect for scientists.
    Vannevar Bush (624 words)
    Vannevar Bush was born on March 11, 1890, in Everett, Massachusetts.
    Bush brought together the U.S. Military and universities with a level of research funding not previously deployed, providing the universities with large, new revenue streams for establishment of laboratories, acquisition of equipment, and the conduct of pure and applied research.
    Bush, Vannevar; Science The Endless Frontier; A Report to the President by Vannevar Bush, Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development; United States Government Printing Office; July, 1945.
      More results at FactBites »

     
     

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