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Digital Computer, 'electronic brain' at the University of Illinois
Digital Computer, 'electronic brain' at the University of Illinois
Resource Typeimage
TitleDigital Computer, 'electronic brain' at the University of Illinois
Coverage / Year1952
Description"In five hours [the ILLIAC] can complete problems which would take the working lifetime of a skilled mathematician. Shown working with it are Miss Ramona J. Russell, computer operator, and Jack O. Neuhaus, research assistant in Psychology." The ILLIAC I was the first computer which was built and owned by a university. It went online on September 22, 1952. It had the same computing power as a handheld calculator would have today, but it weighed five tons! It was 10 feet long, 2 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall. It had a 5K main memory and a 64K drum memory. In January 1948, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees gave $150, 000 for the construction of a computer. John Von Neumann from Princeton University recommended UI build its own computer. Once the ILLIAC I came online, it was only available for use eight hours a day, but eventually, it was made available twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. It was eventually dismantled in 1962.
InterpretationThe ILLIAC I had more computational power in 1956 than all of the computers at Bell Labs. Input to the computer was only possible through five holed paper tape at 100 characters/second, while output was at 60 chars/second or by Cathode Ray Tube Display. In the late fifties, IBM cards were added as input/output devices. More information about the ILLIAC I can be found at http://ems.music.uiuc.edu/history/illiac.html
Lesson Plans / ThemesUsing a Calculator; Using a Computer to make a graph
Learning Standards6-10 Mathematics; 13 Science, Technology and Society;
Author or CreatorUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
SourceUniversity of Illinois Archives (RS 39/2/20) from "Byte of History: Computing at the University of Illinois" exhibit, March 1997
Subject / KeywordsComputers; Technology; Education; ILLIAC; International Business Machines (IBM);
Collection PublisherUIUC Digital Imaging & Media Technology Initiative
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See http://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statementhttp://images.library.uiuc.edu/projects/tdc/conditions.htm
Resource Identifierari5001
CONTENTdm file name45319201282002_digcomputer.jpg
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