Eckert, Wallace

Eckert, Wallace (John)

(1902–71) computer engineer; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. An astronomer by training, he was early intrigued by the possible application of computers to astronomical calculations. He established a computation lab at Columbia University and encouraged International Business Machines to support computer research (1933). He developed techniques for linking tabulating and adding equipment and was director of the Watson Laboratory at Columbia (1945–67), where he helped develop the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (1948).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.