The Community for Technology Leaders
RSS Icon
Subscribe
Issue No.03 - July-September (2007 vol.29)
pp: 76-81
David Anderson , University of Portsmouth
ABSTRACT
The dominant discourse in the History of Computing holds that the world's first stored-program digital electronic computer--the Manchester "Baby"--was developed under the sole leadership and direction of the Department of Electro-Technics. This biography, which arises out of a detailed re-examination of the historical evidence, challenges the dominant account of the project and re-situates the mathematician M.H.A. Newman as its overall leader.
INDEX TERMS
Newman, Baby, Manchester, SSEM, Kilburn, Williams, Blackett
CITATION
David Anderson, "Max Newman: Topologist, Codebreaker, and Pioneer of Computing", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.29, no. 3, pp. 76-81, July-September 2007, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2007.42
REFERENCES
1. Today, the city is known as Bydgoszcz and is located in northern Poland.
2. Some 30,000 mainly long-term residents were similarly interned, the main discernable effect of which appears to have been the breakup of families and the disruption of social networks.
3. Max's mother also changed her name in, 1920.
4. Frederick William Hill of St. John's College, Cambridge, was 3rd Wrangler in the 1886 Mathematics Tripos Pt II, and obtained a 1st Class degree in, 1887.
5. In medieval times, the Cambridge degree examination in mathematics took the form of a three-cornered syllogistic disputation between the candidate and an examiner, with the Dean acting as a buffer between the contestants and a friend for the student. All parties were seated on three-legged stools in recollection of which the examination in mathematics is called a "Tripos." For a longer discussion see L. Roth, "Old Cambridge Days," The Am. Mathematical Monthly, vol. 78, no. 3, 1971, pp. 223-236.
6. Shawm is the name of a whole family of double-reed woodwind instruments that flourished throughout the middle ages and Renaissance, only to be replaced by the Baroque oboe. Newman's parenthetic reference draws on Arthur Clement Hilton's parody of Lewis Carroll's The Walrus and The Carpenter Hilton's version, which is reprinted in E.E. Kellett, A Book of Cambridge Verse , Cambridge Univ. Press, 1911, runs as follows: "The time has come," the Vulture said, "To talk of many things, Of Accidence and Adjectives, And names of Jewish kings, How many notes a sackbut has, And whether shawms have strings."
7. Newman writing to Harold Jeffreys, box 1, folder 1, item 4, The Newman Digital Archive, the History of Computing Group, Portsmouth, and St. John's College, Cambridge. Facsimile available at http://www.tech.port.ac.uk/staffweb/andersod/ NewmanNewman.php?Show=Home.php.
8. Newman writing to Harold Jeffreys, box 1, folder 1, item 5, The Newman Digital Archive, the History of Computing Group, Portsmouth, and St. John's College, Cambridge. Facsimile available at http://www.tech.port.ac.uk/staffweb/andersod/ NewmanNewman.php?Show=Home.php.
9. At the university of Cambridge wrangler is a student who has completed the third year (called Part II) of the Mathematical Tripos with first-class honors
10. Schedule B was an optional examination based on advanced courses and was the equivalent of today's Part III."
11. Margaret married Lionel Penrose in 1928, and following his death in 1973, she became Max's second wife."
12. Lyn Irvine is a fascinating character in her own right. For a description of her early life see L. Irvine, So Much Love, So Little Money , Faber, 1957, and for a fascinating account of her marriage to Max seen through the prism of her correspondence see W. Newman, Married to a Mathematician: Lyn Newman's Life in Letters The Eagle , St. John's College, Cambridge, 2002, pp. 47-55.
13. M.L. Cartwright, "Presentation of the De Morgan Medal to Professor M H A Newman," J. London Mathematical Soc., vol. 38, 1963, pp. 129-130.
14. Lyn Newman, writing to her parents in November 1937, papers of Lyn Newman, St. John's College Library, box 5.
15. C.R.Evans and interviewer "Pioneers of Computing 15: M.H.A. Newman" audio recording, Science Museum London, 1976; C.D.P Anderson, transcription, 1998.
16. A.M. Turing, "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem," Proc. London Mathematical Soc., series 2, 42, London Mathematical Soc., 1936–1937, pp. 230-265.
17. A. Church review author of A.M. Turing's "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem," J. Symbolic Logic, vol. 2, no. 1, 1937, pp. 42-43.
18. This derives from the name which the Germans gave to one of their cipher systems:," Sägefisch, (Sawfish).
19. D. Michie, personal communication, 12 February 2001.
20. Alan Turing joined Newman's department in autumn, 1948.
21. Newman to J. von Neumann, 8 February 1946, box 6, folder 2, item 2, The Newman Digital Archive, the History of Computing Group, and St. John's College, Cambridge.
22. Williams brought with him Tom Kilburn, a very able young engineer who, as is well known, was to play a crucial role in the development of the Manchester computer.
23. I.J. Good to S.H. Lavington, 7 April 1976, NAHC/MUC/2/A4, National Archive of the History of Computing. Newman had also discussed the vacancy with Williams during the summer of 1946.
24. M.L. Cartwright, "Presentation of the De Morgan Medal to Professor M H A Newman," J. London Mathematical Soc., vol. 38, 1963, p. 130.
16 ms
(Ver 2.0)

Marketing Automation Platform Marketing Automation Tool