Researching for the post on the ENIAC, I came across a small paragraph mentioning the women programmers who had programmed the ENIAC, but were totally ignored and forgotten to the extent that they were not mentioned in any of the press releases, they were not invited even for the 50th anniversary of the commissioning of the ENIAC(which happened in the socially aware times of 1996!). There was a story lurking under the surface. I did not expect too much of content to be available on the net. So, I wanted to do a short piece on them. Boy, was I wrong! There were oodles and oodles of content on the net about the ENIAC programmers. I was overwhelmed by the quality and the quantity of the content. I have tried my best to curate as much content as possible.
To be acknowledged a genius and celebrated as one during one’s own lifetime is rare. John von Neumann was one of them. In fact, he was even compared to the great Einstein, who incidentally was his colleague in Princeton and a fellow member of the Manhattan project, which produced the atom bomb. The article, This Hungarian-American Mathematician May Have Been Smarter Than Einstein claims he may have been smarter than Einstein in certain areas. (more…)
We all are a product of our times. Our interests, achievements and expectations of the future happens in the context of the times we live in. Consequently, most of us don’t see beyond the present and even our predictions of the future are coloured by our present times. Occasionally, there comes along a man or woman who sees further than anybody else of his/her generation. Alan Turing was one of them. Though he was largely ignored during his own lifetime and even perhaps hounded for his sexual tendencies, leading to his tragic death at a relatively young age his theories had such far reaching implications. It is difficult to imagine whether his universal computing machine would have been conceived by someone else if he had not done it. (more…)