Early Computing at Princeton

All Princeton Alumni get the magazine known as the PAW for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.  It’s not really a weekly any more but the name stuck.  The April 4, 2012 issue had two interesting articles about early computing.  Alan Turing *38 (the asterisk or star indicates a graduate degree and an apostrophe means undergraduate degree in Princeton talk) was attracted from his native England to come to Princeton by the presence of John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Studies.  While there he developed his thoughts about the Turing Machine.   Of course von Neumann proposed the sharing of memory by both the program and the data also known as the stored program computer; the architecture that is in use to this day.  Prior to that early machines like the ENIAC were programmed with punch boards.  Then there was Oswald Veblen who might be said to have created an early need for computing.

Joe Wood  ’67

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