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Interview
April-June 1998 (vol. 20 no. 2)
pp. 81-84

At the first major history of computing conference—the International Research Conference on the History of Computing, which was held in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 1976—R.W. Hamming gave a talk entitled, "We Would Know What They Thought When They Did It." It is, of course, almost impossible to reconstruct the situations that led people to make significant contributions and to understand their thought patterns at the time. However, one way of getting close is to ask them questions about that time and the thoughts they have now. If we cannot "know what they thought" back then, we can at least find out what they are thinking now—that will sometimes provide a clue to the individual's thought processes and may give the historian a better insight into a creator's personality.

Citation:
Carl Machover, "Interview," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 81-84, April-June 1998, doi:10.1109/MAHC.1998.667314
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