A century of electrical engineering and computer science at by Karl L. Wildes

By Karl L. Wildes

Electrical engineering is a protean career. at the present time the sphere embraces many disciplines that appear some distance faraway from its roots within the telegraph, cell, electrical lamps, vehicles, and turbines. To a outstanding quantity, this chronicle of switch and progress at a unmarried establishment is a tablet historical past of the self-discipline and career of electric engineering because it constructed world wide. even if MIT was once no longer major the way in which, the dept was once often quickly to conform to altering wishes, objectives, curricula, and examine courses. What has remained consistent all through is the dynamic interplay of educating and learn, flexibility of management, the interconnections with business growth and nationwide priorities.

The book's textual content and plenty of pictures introduce readers to the popular lecturers and researchers who're nonetheless renowned in engineering circles, between them: Vannevar Bush, Harold Hazen, Edward Bowles, Gordon Brown, Harold Edgerton, Ernst Guillemin, Arthur von Hippel, and Jay Forrester.

The e-book covers the department's significant parts of task -- electricity structures, servomechanisms, circuit thought, communications concept, radar and microwaves (developed first on the famed Radiation Laboratory in the course of international conflict II), insulation and dielectrics, electronics, acoustics, and computation. This wealthy historical past of accomplishments indicates additionally that years ahead of "Computer technological know-how" used to be extra to the department's identify such pioneering leads to computation and keep an eye on as Vannevar Bush's Differential Analyzer, early cybernetic units and numerically managed servomechanisms, the Whirlwind desktop, and the evolution of time-sharing computation had already been achieved.

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Extra info for A century of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, 1882-1982

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78 Electrical Engineering. Offspring of Phvsics Edward C. Pickering gave the first lectures and demonstrations in electrical sc1ence at MIT in 1866. and conducted experiments in telephony well before Alexander G. Bell arrived on the Boston intellectual scene. Charles R. Cross. a student of Pickenng. was to become the founder of the first formal course in electrical engineering in 1BB2. the year of William Barton Rogers's death. and the year t hat the "wizard" of electricity, Thomas A. Edison. began providing electrical service from his Pearl Street Station in New York city early years.

Yet somehow a general acquaintanceship developed, despite slow trains and long days, and from the beginning the hard-working students developed pride in being Technology men and acquired something of the spirit that had made MIT possible Even those who remained for only a year or who fell out of the ranks before graduation absorbed a feeling of loyalty which was often evident in later years. A century later. though MIT's location. resources. size. and personnel have changed, the description is familiar enough to anyone who has been part of the Institute at any period.

In 1884 Metallurgy was combined wrth Mining to form Course Ill, Mining and Metallurgy, and Electrical Engineering became Course VI, still administered by Cross and within the Physics Department. The first EE graduates in 1885 were therefore called Course VI men, a name that has remained unchanged to the present day. Parenthetically, the MIT Alumni Association, founded March 17, 1875, held its first regular meeting on January 2 7, 18 7 6, and elected Robert H. Richards, '68, president and Charles R.

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