Howard Hathaway Aiken

Born: 9 March 1900 in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
Died: 14 March 1973 in St Louis, Missouri, USA

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Howard Aiken studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison obtaining a doctorate from Harvard (1939).

Working with three others, Aiken developed (1939- 1944) the Harvard Mark I computer which could carry out five operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and reference to previous results. It weighed 35 tons and had 500 miles of wire. Grace Hopper worked with Aiken from 1944 on the Mark I computer which was used by the US navy for gunnery and ballistics calculations.

Aiken completed the Mark II, a completely electronic computer, in 1947. He published on electronics and switching theory.

References (5 books/articles)

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You can see a picture of Aiken's Mark I machine

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JOC/EFR December 1996