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Issue No.01 - January-March (2007 vol.29)
pp: 49-64
Jack Minker , University of Maryland at College Park
ABSTRACT
The use of and first courses on computers at Maryland began in the 1940s. The Computer Science Center beginnings are examined in the context of founding director Werner C. Rheinboldt's noteworthy accomplishments to develop a computation facility with research and educational components, supported by John Menard, assistant director. William F. Atchison, who replaced Rheinboldt as Center director, continued these accomplishments.
INDEX TERMS
formation of CS Center, first CS director, first CS courses, ACM Curriculum '68, federal grants, planning a CS building, graduate/undergraduate education programs, research, software developments, loss of computer autonomy
CITATION
Jack Minker, "Forming a Computer Science Center at the University of Maryland", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.29, no. 1, pp. 49-64, January-March 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.5
REFERENCES
1. This paper is dedicated to Werner C. Rheinboldt, John Menard and in memory of William F. Atchison 1918–1998. The history of computing at Maryland is indebted to Rheinboldt, first director of the Center, who had the vision to make it all happen. He was assisted ably by Menard, assistant director of the Center. Atchison succeeded Rheinboldt as director and enhanced the Center. He was chair of the ACM Curriculum 68 Report that defined the first computer science curriculum.
2. W. Aspray, "Was Early Entry a Competitive Advantage? US Universities that Entered Computing in the 1940s," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 22, no. 3, 2000, pp. 42–87.
3. I was chair, Advisory Committee on Computing to the CS Section of NSF during the period 1980–1982. I accompanied Kent Curtis, director of the CS Section, to discuss, with top NSF administrators and two prominent mathematicians, making the section a division within NSF. The mathematicians did not support a split of CS from the Mathematics Division. I noted the difficulty of fInding someone acceptable to both mathematicians and computer scientists. To illustrate my point, I proposed an applied mathematician, who was also a distinguished numerical analyst and computer scientist be appointed director of a joint Mathematics/CS Division. The mathematicians refused to consider an applied mathematician as head of the division. I believe that this diminished their arguments, and convinced NSF to make the CS Section a separate division.
4. W.C. Rheinboldt, "The Computer Science Center at the University of Maryland," n.d., John Menard Collection, R. Lee Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland, College Park.
5. The LPG 30 computer had a 4,096–word memory, whose word size was 31 bits; 0.260 milliseconds' access time between two adjacent physical memories; 2.340 milliseconds' access times between two adjacent addresses, and had 16 instructions using a half-word format.
6. The IBM 1620 had a core storage of 60,000 digits, internal processing speed of 20 microseconds, a simplified two-address instruction format, and 32 commands.
7. University of Maryland Catalog for 1955, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
8. Board of Regents, vol. 15, minutes of the meeting of 30 Sept. 1959, pp. 222–15–223–15, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
9. Board of Regents, vol. 17, minutes of the meeting of 15 June 1961, pp. 107–17–109–17, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
10. From an e-mail message sent to me by Ruth Kastner, 29 August 2002. The quote was originally by Rheinboldt and e-mailed to Kastner on 23 October 1999. With respect to the grant that Rheinboldt mentions: although Rheinboldt discussed such a grant with NASA in October 1961, it was not until September 1962 when a proposal was written, and 1 February 1963 that the grant was awarded.
11. Werner C. Rheinboldt to Charles B. DeCarlo, 21 October 1961, R. Lee Hornbake Collection, box 606, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
12. Werner C. Rheinboldt to R. Lee Hornbake, 19 March 1963, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
13. Professor Azriel Rosenfeld died on 21 February 2004.
14. Werner C. Rheinboldt, "Computer Science Center Proposed Staffing Pattern," memorandum, 18 May 1962, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
15. J. Minker, Beginning of Computing and Computer Science at the University of Maryland, tech. report, Univ. of Maryland, Dept. of Computer Science, September 2003; available at http:/www.cs.umd.edu.
16. R. Lee Hornbake to Academic Deans, College Park and Baltimore Campuses and Department Heads and Other Institute and Division Administrators, memorandum, 9 July 1965, R. Lee Hornbake Collection, box 606, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
17. William F. Atchison to R. Lee Hornbake, memorandum, 30 January 1968, R. Lee Hornbake Collection, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
18. Charles B. Connell to William F. Atchison, 12 March 1970, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
19. Thomas B. Day to William F. Atchison, 30 September 1970, R. Lee Hornbake Collection, box 606, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
20. J. Minker, "Developing a Research and Teaching Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2007; to appear.
21. ACM Curriculum Committee, "An Undergraduate Program in Computer Science: Preliminary Recommendations," Comm. ACM, vol. 8, no. 9, 1965, pp. 543–552.
22. Earl J. Schweppe and Werner C. Rheinboldt, to R. Lee Hornbake, 8 November 1965, R. Lee Hornbake Collection, box 606, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
23. ACM Curriculum Committee, "Curriculum 68—Recommendations for Academic Programs in Computer Science," Comm. ACM, vol. 11, no. 3, 1968, pp. 151–197.
24. Members of the ACC who helped write the report were William F. Atchison, Univ. of Maryland (chairman); Samuel D. Conte, Purdue Univ.; John W. Hamblen, SREB and Georgia Institute of Technology; Thomas E. Hull, Univ. of Toronto; Thomas A. Keenan, EDUCOM and Univ. of Rochester; William B. Kehl, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Edward J. McCluskey, Stanford Univ.; Silvio O. Navarro, Univ. of Kentucky; Werner C. Rheinboldt, Univ. of Maryland; Earl J. Schweppe, Univ. of Maryland; William Viavant, Univ. of Utah; David M. Young, Jr., Univ. of Texas.
25. E.J. Schweppe, "On the Genesis of Curriculum 68," draft, 1990, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
26. University of Maryland Catalog for 1965, Hornbake Library Archives, Univ. of Maryland.
27. A copy of the Curriculum Improvement Proposal, "Research and Development Supporting University Level Education in Computer Science," submitted to the US Commissioner of Education, 30 August 1965, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
28. "Report of the Task Force for Design of an Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Computer Science," 31 October 1966, in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
29. Rheinboldt's remarks appear in R.E. Kastner, "Draft of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) History," Rheinboldt, because he was also a member of the IPST, was contacted by Kastner. The Kastner Draft is in the Minker collection to be donated to Hornbake Library Archives.
30. Members of the committee included Edmundson, professor Robert Glasser, Agrawala, Basili, and Zelkowitz, and others, including students. No documentation was found that lists all committee members.
31. Members of the Undergraduate Program Committee were assistant professor R. Austing (chair), assistant professor A. Agrawala, assistant professor R. Hamlet, S. Kaisler (student), R. Nagel (student), assistant professor R. Noonan, and associate professor J. Vandergraft. A copy of the report is in the Minker collection to be donated to the Hornbake Library Archives.
32. "Picture Processing by Computers," ACM Computer Surveys, vol. 1, no. 3, 1969.
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