Claude A. Kagan

1961-63 Chair of the AIEE Committee on Large-Scale Computing Devices


AIEE logoBorn in France, attended early school there, then later in England and finally finished HS in US. Started College at Cornell in 1942, Mechanical Engineering, drafted and served in AUS 1944 to 1946, retuned to Cornell, got BME, then BEE and finally MSc in Civil Engineering.

Started work at EBASCO in NY and Southern Illinois, was called back to military active duty in 1950 during Korean conflict, and served in France as liaison officer with French PTT, and other special assignments.

Released in 1953 and went to work for Western Electric Co in Lawrence and N. Andover mass. Involved in final setup and testing of Missile Range communications system and became interested in early Computer system.

Published in 1957 IEEE section prize winning paper on computer controlled manufacturing system with specially designed bidirectionally accessible data base.

Designed large scale computer controlled system with telecommunications for the Merrimack Valley Works of WE company.

Was transferred to NY and soon after to the newly formed WE engineering research center in May 1958, in Hopewell Township.

Responsibility was primarily to look in the future for computer and other controlling techniques to be used in manufacturing.

Published a number of papers along those lines.

Some of the proposals were implemented in factories.

At same time was active in the IEEE being chairman of the coputing devices committee and also after several years of the data communications committee. Was charter founder of AFIPS, the American Federation of Information Societies.

Was awarded by the IEEE computer society the 1984 medal for extraordinary contributions &c &c. Was also one of half a dozen people who was give a second 1984 award, that by the Princeton Section of the IEEE.

Became involved on the side with the R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S. in 1965, and that is a different story.

Retired from AT&T Bell Laboratories at the end of 1988.

Have been since then consultant in private practice with my own small company, and a couple of friends and associates.

Among significant activities was the installation of computer aided election reporting and ballot preparation for the Mercer County Clerk's office. Also consulted for the County Clerk with reference to a proposed Electronic Voting Machine system for which prelimnary action had been taken by Mercer County Freeholders. After studying the proposal and submitting a report the Freeholders decided that discretion was the better part of valor and not to approve the acquisition of untested and unproven system consisting of 600 IBM PC machines with no demonstatable software.