Speaker Series Odysseys in Technology

When Computers Were Human

What did it mean to be a human computer? Who were the first ones? Before Palm Pilots and iPods, PCs and laptops, the term “computer” referred to people who did scientific calculations by hand. In his book When Computers Were Human, David Alan Grier, editor of IEEE Annals of History of Computing, offers the first in-depth account of these workers, who were neither calculating geniuses nor idiot savants but knowledgeable people who, in other circumstances, might have become scientists in their own right. Beginning with the return of Halley's Comet in 1758 and the effort of three French astronomers to compute its orbit to the UNIVAC electronic computer projecting its 1986 orbit, Grier traces “human computers” through the ages. Come join Grier, along with former “computers,” for this look into a little-known slice of high tech history.

Proceeds of the book sale benefit the Computer History Museum.

 

Jun 06, 2005
6:00 pm

Add to Calendar 06/06/2005 6:00 pm America/Los_Angeles When Computers Were Human Computer History Museum 1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard Mountain View, CA, 94043 United States
Location

Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043

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