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  • Howard H. Aiken


    Harvard Mark I / IBM ASCC, left side.Howard Hathaway Aiken (March 8, 1900 – March 14, 1973) was an American physicist and a pioneer in computing, being the original conceptual designer behind IBM's Harvard Mark I computer.

  • Mark I (Computer)


  • Harvard Mark I


    The left end consisted of electromechanical computing components The right end included data and program readers, and automatic typewriters Closeup of input/output and control readers The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), called Mark I by Harvard University’s staff, was a general purpose electromechanical computer that was used in the war effort during the last part of World War II. One of the first programs to run on the Mark I was initiated on 29 March 1944 by John von Neumann. At that time, von Neumann was working on the Manhattan project, and needed to determine whether implosion was a viable choice to detonate the atomic bomb that would be used a year later. The Mark I also computed and printed mathematical tables, which had been the initial goal of British inventor Charles Babbage for his "analytical engine". The Mark I was disassembled in 1959, but portions of it are displayed in the Science Center as part of the Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. Other sections of the original machine were transferred to IBM and the Smithsonian Institution.

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