The ARMY BRAIN (Jun, 1946)


A GIANT “thinking machine,” able to apply electronic speeds for the first time to mathematical tasks too difficult for previous solution, is now in use by the U. S. Army. It can compute 1,000 times faster than the most advanced calculating device previously known, can solve in hours problems which would take years on a mechanical machine and shows promise of revolutionizing long-range weather prediction and many other highly complicated sciences.

World’s First All-Electronic Programmable Computer (ENIAC) (Apr, 1946)

It’s interesting that for all of their excitement about ENIAC and future computers, people still only thought of computers as giant calculators. I guess that’s because they hadn’t been paired with a reliable storage mechanism yet. It’s hard to have an airline database without a place to store the fares and tickets…

Lightning Strikes Mathematics



SOME day, travelers may step out of a plane in San Francisco 10 minutes, by local clocks, before they left New York. That day has been brought closer by the work of two brilliant young engineers at the Moore Electrical Engineering School, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. John W. Mauchly (38) and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. (26) have designed and built, with an assist from Army Ordnance, the world’s first all-electronic computer. The speed and scope of this digital wizard will revolutionize methods of modern industrial design. It is expected to put mathematics back into industry as an economical, rapid tool, saving months of figure work and accomplishing part of the presently impossible. The plane, rocket, or wing, in which a passenger may travel well over 1,000 miles per hour is now just a ghost on a blueprint. Engineers at Republic Aviation Corporation say it is hidden somewhere under a huge mass of highly complicated mathematical equations. The engineers believe that those equations must be completely analyzed before any promises can be made about super-sonic speeds. The Eniac (Electronic Numerical Integrater and Computer) has made complete mathematical analysis of that kind feasible for the first time.