John Vincent Atanasoff

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Atanasoff, John Vincent,

1903–1995, inventor of the digital computer, b. Hamilton, N.Y., grad. Univ. of Florida (B.S., 1925), Iowa State College (M.S., 1926), Univ. of Wisconsin (Ph.D., 1930). While teaching mathematics and physics at Iowa State (1930–42), he developed the Atanasoff-Berry computer (ABC; 1939), a semielectronic digital computer, with the help of graduate student Clifford Berry, but a patent application was never filed by Atanasoff or Iowa State. After working for the U.S. government on various computer projects (1942–52), he founded (1952) the Ordnance Engineering Corp.; after he sold his firm to Aerojet General Corp. in 1956 he continued to work there. In 1961 he started Cybernetics, Inc., where he worked until 1981. A 1973 legal action pitted Atanasoff and the ABC against John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert and their ENIAC computer. Mauchly and Eckert had claimed responsibility for more than 100 inventions related to electronic digital computing patents, but a judge found against them, stating that their innovations were based on Atanasoff's work.

Bibliography

See J. Smiley, The Man Who Invented the Computer (2010).

John Vincent Atanasoff

(1)

John Vincent Atanasoff

(person)
John Vincent Atanasoff, 1903-10-04 - 1995-06-15. An American mathemetical physicist, and the inventor of the electronic digital computer. Between 1937 and 1942 he built the Atanasoff-Berry Computer with Clifford Berry, at the Iowa State University.

Atanasoff was born on 1903-10-04 in Hamilton, New York. In 1925, he got a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida. In 1926 he received a Master's degree in Maths from Iowa State University. He received a PhD as a theoretical physicist from the University of Wisconsin in 1930.

While an associate professor of mathematics and physics at Iowa State University, Atanasoff began to envision a digital computational device, believing analogue devices to be too restrictive. Whilst working on his electronic digital computer, Atanasoff was introduced to a graduate student named Clifford Berry, who helped him build the computer.

The first prototype of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer was demonstrated in December 1939. Although no patent was awarded for the new computer, in 1973 US District Judge Earl R. Larson declared Atanasoff the inventor of the digital computer (declaring the ENIAC patent invalid).

Atanasoff was awarded the National Medal of Technology by US President Bush on 1990-11-13. He died following a stroke on 1995-06-15.

John Vincent Atanasoff and the Birth of the Digital Computer.

["Atanasoff Forgotten Father of the Computer", C. R. Mollenhoff, Iowa State University Press 1988].
References in periodicals archive ?
John Vincent Atanasoff was an associate professor in mathematics and physics at Iowa State College.
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One of the 13 patients in the 2010 case series by Atanasoff et al underwent arthroscopic shoulder repair during which the surgeons explored the deltoid needle trajectory (as identified by the patient).
Parents like Sandy Atanasoff of Danbury, Connecticut, for whom hygiene and neatness are second nature, cannot understand how their children can be oblivious to their living conditions -- like the network of cobwebs growing in her daughter Gina's room, or the sheets on the bed that remain unwashed for weeks.
For the first time this year the president will award two diplomas "John Atanasoff for practical application of scientific achievements and in projects of great public importance", as well as two certificates "John Atanasoff - students and their teachers.
The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer, published by Doubleday, author Jane Smiley argues that this honor rightfully belongs to another braniac, Iowa State College professor John Atanasoff, who built an earlier computer with the assistance of graduate student Clifford Berry.
Last year, in an interesting book titled "The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer," published by Doubleday, author Jane Smiley argues that this honor rightfully belongs to another braniac, Iowa State College professor John Atanasoff, who built an earlier computer with the assistance of graduate student Clifford Berry.
In particular, its effectiveness stems from the easily understood visual representation of interest assessment results (Rayman & Atanasoff, 1999).
The best-selling author tells a quirky tale of John Atanasoff, an Iowa physics professor who in the 1930s pursued the dream of faster calculations.
The Man Who Invented the Computer The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer | JANE SMILEY: Surely Smiley wrote the Pulitzer Prize--winning A Thousand Acres (1991) without a computer, but in this rags-to-riches story, she examines the life of the man who invented, but failed to patent, the world's first digital computer.
Computer pioneers include Babbage and Newman (UK), Zuse (Germany), Hollerith, Shannon, Atanasoff, Berry, von Neumann, Eckert and Mauchly, Watson, Olsen, Jobs, Gates (U.
Jones said she will have guitarist Peter Atanasoff along for the ride, as he was a big part of shaping the finely textured tones on the singer's latest.