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Oral history interview with Arthur W. Burks and Alice R. Burks, 1980 June 20.

Author: Arthur W Burks; Alice R Burks; Nancy B Stern
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Burks describes his work on the ENIAC and Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) computers. He reviews his upbringing, education, and work experiences (mainly teaching) before joining the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1941. He then discusses his associations with J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, John Brainerd, Herman Goldstine, and others and their work at the Moore School. Various
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Genre/Form: Oral histories
Named Person: J Presper Eckert; John W Mauchly; John G Brainerd; Herman H Goldstine; John Von Neumann
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Arthur W Burks; Alice R Burks; Nancy B Stern
OCLC Number: 63289537
Notes: Recorded in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Description: Sound cassettes : 4 (60 min. each) : analog, mono. Transcript : 127 p. Computer data (1 file : 208K)

Abstract:

Burks describes his work on the ENIAC and Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) computers. He reviews his upbringing, education, and work experiences (mainly teaching) before joining the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1941. He then discusses his associations with J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly, John Brainerd, Herman Goldstine, and others and their work at the Moore School. Various aspects of the ENIAC project are discussed in detail: interactions of project members, division of tasks, decision making processes, patenting issues, initial operation, and von Neumann's association with the Moore School and the ENIAC and EDVAC projects.

The Burkses discuss the general distinction concerning the classification of general purpose versus special purpose computers and computers versus calculators. Patenting issues concerning the ENIAC project are given particular attention. The Burkses describe the dispersion of ENIAC and EDVAC personnel at the end of World War II. Arthur Burks recounts his move to IAS, his experiences there, and his consulting work with Burroughs prior to accepting a faculty position at the University of Michigan.

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