This is a collection of assignments from CS 3604. Additional assignments will be added as they are developed.

Assignment #2 Fall 1997

Table of Contents:


  1. The first purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to use the techniques of developing a written report, which are very similar to those of developing a program:
    1. Investigation of the subject (understanding the problem)
    2. Planning the project (developing specifications)
    3. Collecting and coalescing the data (designing the system)
    4. Drafting and outlining (flowcharting)
    5. Writing (or implementation)
    6. Review and revision (debugging and maintenance)

  2. The second purpose is to have you retrospectively review your actions in preparing this report and to think about the ways in which you can improve the process. The vehicle for this activity is the journal that you need to prepare as you work on this assignment. The journal consists of both a diary of activities and an evaluation of your work. This can be very helpful if you approach it with a positive attitude - the journal is not just another hand-in, but a way of hopefully improving the process of completing the assignment. It also helps in grading when you ask for an extension of the due date!


Review your notes on the Video "The Machine That Changed the World".

Option 1:

Study a computer pioneer in detail for whom there is not yet a Web link in the Web notes for "The Machine That Changed the World". Establish his/her place in the history of computing. Preference should be given to a living person, and one whom you would consider to be a "role model" for young computer scientists. Many of our contemporary pioneers have their home pages on the WWW!

Option 2:

Study the Web notes for the "The Machine That Changed the World" and choose one of the topics for which there is not yet a Web link, or a link that is no more than to a single graphic. Study this topic in detail and create a web page that will serve as an more in-depth overview of the topic than was given in the video series.

Due Date: 29 September 1997


You will be required to hand-in

  1. a report of approximately 2000 words on the topic chosen (option 1 or 2 above) and
  2. a journal that documents your activities in completing this assignment.
Your hand-in must be in the form of an HTML file suitable for posting on the Web and a printed copy of the report. Add the word count at the end of the text. This file should be prepared on a 3 1/2 inch diskette in either IBM or Macintosh formatting.

You will also include in the package a printed (paper) journal of your experiences in preparing this assignment as outlined in the writing page. The purpose of the journal is for you to self-evaluate your progress towards completing this assignment, to better understand and judge your own activities in this project, and to assist in analyzing the processes of writing for future assignments. A form for answering questions on your experiences is available on the web.

Place all your materials in a large envelope that contains only your name on the outside.

Hint -- Biographies:

So how do you go about writing a biography of a person? Well obviously one way would be to find out where that person lives and interview them. However, interviewing someone without knowing something about them first is very difficult. The best interviewer is like a lawyer in court -- they should know the answers in advance. So it all comes back to doing your homework, either as a student or an interviewer. It is possible that the person you have chosen does have a biography already written, but don't let us count on it -- he/she may be dead already!

So where to start? Well the first place is probably the reference section of the library where you will find various editions of volumes entitled "Who's Who". If you go to the Virginia Tech Newman Library, you will find the following entry through the Virginia Tech Library System (VTLS):

Filing Title: Who's who (New York, N.Y.)
Title: Who's who.
Imprint: New York : St. Martin's, 1849-
Description: v. : ill. ; 13-22 cm.
Frequency: Annual
Published: 1st (1849)-
Note: Also published in British ed. by A. & C. Black, London, England.
Men and women of the time
Subject: Biography -- Dictionaries -- Periodicals.

But since most of the people that we are looking for are in science, perhaps the following entry would be better:

Title: Who's who in science and engineering.
Imprint: Wilmette, Ill. : Marquis Who's Who, c1992-
Description: v. ; 31 cm.
Published: 1992-1993-
Note: Vol. for 1992-1993 called also "Premier edition."
Subject: Scientists -- Biography -- Dictionaries.
Subject: Engineers -- Biography -- Dictionaries.

REAL famous people are to be found in these two collections of biographies, but beware, what you will find is not going to be much more than a listing that looks like a resumé, and there is not much about the person themselves. Not that should not go there, but let me suggest some other sources:

Biographies and Memoirs

Anon. 1953-1969. Leaders in American Science, Who's Who in American Education, Inc., Nashville TN, 8 Vols.
Anon. September 1982. "Thanks for the Memories", Datamation, Vol. 28, No. 10, pp. 27-52.
Anon. 1971. Who's Who in Computers and Data Processing 1971, Quadrangle Books, New York, 5th Ed.
Applied Computer Research. 1983. Directory of Top Computer Executives, Applied Computer Research, Phoenix AZ.
Azimov, Isaac, and Karen A. Frenkel. 1985. Robots: Machines in Man's Image, Harmony Books, New York.
Berkeley, Edmund. C. 1963. Who's Who in the Computer Field, Berkeley Enterprises, Newtonville MA.
Caddes, Carolyn. 1986. Portraits of Success: Impressions of Silicon Valley Pioneers, Tioga Publishing Co., Palo Alto CA.
Cortada, James W. 1987. Historical Dictionary of Data Processing: Biographies, Greenwood Press, Westport CT.
Cringely, Robert X. 1992. Accidental Empires, Patrick/Addison Wesley, Reading MA.
Debus, Allen G. 1968. World Who's Who in Science, Marquis-Who's Who, Inc., Chicago.
Lee, J.A.N. 1995. Computer Pioneers, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos CA, 816 pp.
Levering, Robert, Michael Katz, and Milton Moskowitz. 1984. Computer Entrepreneurs: Who's Making It Big and How in America's Upstart Industry, New American Library, New York.
Levy, Steven. 1984. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden City, NY.
Ralston, Anthony, and Edwin D. Reilly, Jr. 1983. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York.
Richie, David. 1986. The Computer Pioneers, Simon and Shuster, New York.
Rosenberg, Jerry M. 1969. The Computer Prophets, MacMillan Co., London.
Slater, Robert. 1987. Portraits in Silicon, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.
Tropp, Henry S. 1974. "The Effervescent Years: A Retrospective", IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 70-79.
Zientara, Marguerite, et al. 1981. The History of Computing: A Biographical Portrait of the Visionaries Who Shaped the Destiny of the Computer Industry, CW Communications, Framingham MA.

Electronic Sources:

There are several web pages devoted to the history of computing, and contain links to information about the pioneers. Start with our local history page.
A recently developed WWW page on Women in Computing is available at Yale University. Interestingly this list includes some Virginia Tech faculty and researchers, but no graduate or undergraduate students!
We will add more items as we notice them; if you find sources please let us know!

Other Sources:

Other sources that you may find useful are the organizations for professional activities such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) or the IEEE Computer Society. Well known computer scientists have four possible places where you might find information about them:

  1. Appendices or side bars to papers they have written in technical journals of these organizations;
  2. Reports when they received an award -- so if their "Who's Who" entry shows that they received (say) the ACM Turing Award in 1984, then there is a good possibility that there will be write-up in a journal about that time. Go to the year's index as a starter;
  3. If they are a fellow of the IEEE, then a brief biography and their citation will be included in the annual IEEE Membership Directory; ACM also has fellows, but they do not publish biographies.
  4. In obituaries if they are dead. If the person is a dead Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), then there will be an obituary in:

    Title: Biographical memoirs of fellows of the Royal Society.
    Imprint: London, Royal Society of London.
    Description: v. ill. 26 cm.
    Frequency: Irregular 1990-
    Published: v. 1- 1955-
    Note: Beginning in 1984, microfiche accompany some volumes.
    Note: None published in 1989.
    Note: Partial contents on microfiche available in microform area.
    Note: SUPERSEDES Obituary notices of fellows of the Royal Society
    Subject: Scientists -- Periodicals.

There is a single journal which publishes biographies and obituaries on a regular basis -- The Annals of the History of Computing. The Annals was originally published by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, but since 1992 has been published by the IEEE Computer Society. The Annals has an annual index, and occasional cumulative indices. The last cumulative was published with the 10th Anniversary issue in 1987.

Title: Annals of the History of Computing.
Imprint: [New york, NY, etc., Spring-Verlag, etc.]
Description: 13 v. ill. 28 cm.
Frequency: Quarterly
Published: v. 1-13; July 1979-Dec. 1991.
Note: A publication of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies.
Note: CONTINUED BY IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
Subject: Electronic data processing -- History -- Periodicals.
Subject: Computers -- History -- Periodicals.

Here are three references that you may find useful if you want to deal with pioneers of the Silicon Valley:

Rogers, Everett M., and Judith K. Larsen. Silicon Valley Fever, Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1984, 302 pp., paperback.

Cringley, Robert X. Accidental Empires, Addison-Wesley, Reading MA, 1992, 324 pp., paperback.

You may also get some help from this listing of biographies in other books:

Cortada, James W. 1987. Historical Dictionary of Data Processing: Biographies, Greenwood Press, Westport CT.

Ramon Lull (1235-1315)
John Napier (1550-1617)
Henry Briggs ( 1561-1630)
Wilhelm Schickard (1592-1635)
Rene Grillet (1600s)
Gaspard Schott (1608-66)
Blaise Pascal (1623-66)
Samuel Morland (1625-95)
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)
Pierre Jacquet-Droz (1700s)
Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804)
Joseph-Marie Jacquard (1752-1834)
Baron Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier (1768-1830)
Pehr Georg Scheutz (1785-1873)
Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
George Boole (1815-64)
Countess of Lovelace, Augusta Ada (1816-52)
Martin Wiberg (1826-1905)
William Stanley Jevons (1835-82)
Henry Adams (1838-1918)
Ram6n Verea (1838-99)
John Shaw Billings (1839-1913)
John Henry Patterson (1844-1922)
John K. Gore ( 1845- l910)
Willgodt Theophil Odhner (1845-1905)
Joseph Boyer (1848-1905)
Gcorge Barnard Grant (1849-1917)
Charles Ranlett Flint (l850-1934)
Emst Georg Fischer (1852-1935)
Leonardo Torres y Quevcdo (1852-1936)
Allan Marquand (1853-1924)
George Winthrop Fairchild (1854-1924)
William Seward Burroughs (1855-1898)
Lyman Frank Baum (1856-1919)
Alfred Blake Dick (1856-1934)
Carl George Lange Barth (1860-1939)
Herman Hollerith (1860-1929)
Vilhelm Bjerknes (1862-1951)
Maurice d'Ocagne (1862-1938)
Dorr Eugene Felt (1862-1930)
Annibale Pastore (1868-1936)
Leon Bollee (1870-1913)
Edward Andrew Deeds (1874-1960)
Thomas John Watson (1874-1956)
James Wares Bryce (1880-1949)
Percy E. Ludgate (1883-1922)
Clark Hull (1884-1952)
James Henry Rand (1886-1968)
Theodore Henry Brown (1888-1973)
Clair D. Lake (1888-1958)
Vannevar Bush (1890-1974)
William Frederick Friedman (1891-1969)
Leslie John Comrie (1893-1950)
Alfred Blake Dick, Jr. (1894-1954)
Norhert Wiener (1894-1964)
Leslie Richard Groves (1896-1970)
Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958)
Ernest Galen Andrews (1898-1980)
Boris Artybasheff (1899-1965)
Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-73)
Donald Alexander Flanders (1900-58)
Harold Locke Hazen (1901-80)
Alfred Tarski ( 1901-I983)
Wallace John Eckert (1902-71)
Mina Spiegel Rees (1902- )
John Vincent Atanasoff (1903- )
John von Neumann (1903-57)
John Grist Brainerd (1904-88)
Alston Scott Househoulder (1904- )
Derrick Henry Lehmer (1905-91)
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906-92)
Reynold B. Johnson (1906- )
Gordon S. Brown (1907- )
John William Mauchly (1907-80)
Antonin Svoboda (1907-80)
James Franklin Forster (1908-72)
John Hamilton Curtiss (1909-77)
William Bradford Shockley (1910- )
Konrad Zuse (1910- )
Richard Goodman (1911-66)
Cuthbert C. Hurd (1911- )
John Aleksander Rajchman (1911-89)
Louis "Moll" Nicot Ridenour, Jr. (1911-59)
Frederic Calland Williams (1911-77)
Dave Packard (1912- )
Alan Mathison Turing (1912-54)
Julian Bigelow (1913- )
Herman Heine Goldstine (1913- )
Simon Ramo (1913- )
Maurice Vincent Wilkes (1913- )
Dean Everett Wooldridge (1913-
George Bernard Dantzig (1914- )
Walter W. Jacobs (1914-82)
George Robert Stibitz (1914- )
Thomas John Watson, Jr. (1914- )
Arthur Walter Burks (1915- )
Borje Langefors (1915- )
Nicholas C. Metropolis (1915- )
Harry Douglas Huskey (1916- )
Claude Elwood Shannon (1916- )
Herbert Alexander Simon (1916- )
Christopher Strachey (1916-75)
Jule Gregory Charney (1917-81)
Dov Chevion (1917-83)
Frank August Engel, Jr. (1917- )
Robert Mano Fano (1917- )
Ralph Ernest Meagher (1917- )
Andrew Donald Booth (1918- )
Jay Wright Forrester (1918- )
John R. Pasta (1918-81)
John Presper Eckert, Jr. (1919- )
Niels Ivar Bech (1920-75)
Robert William Bemer (1920- )
Frank Taylor Cary (1920- )
An Wang (1920-90)
Willis Howard Ware (1920- )
Heinz Zemanek (1920- )
Isaac Levin Auerbach (1921-92)
Robert Rivers Everett (1921- )
Gene Myron Amdahl (1922- )
Alan J. Perlis (1922-90)
Saul Rosen (1922-91)
J. Cliff Shaw (1922-91)
John Weber Carr (1923- )
Victor Mikhaylovich Glushkov (1923-82)
Jack St. Clair Kilby (1923- )
Herman Lukoff (1923-79)
Joseph Weizenbaum (1923- )
John Backus (1924- )
Julien Green (1924- )
John R. Opel (1925- )
William Michael Blumenthal (1926- )
Fernando Jose Corbato (1926- )
John Diebold (1926- )
Stanley Gill (1926-75)
Kristen Nygaard (1926- )
Kenneth Harry Olsen (1926- )
Richard Utman (1926- )
William Louis Van Den Poel (1926- )
Robert (Bob) Overton Evans (1927- )
Charles Katz (1927- )
John McCarthy (1927- )
Marvin Lee Minsky (1927- )
Allen Newell (1927-92)
Robert Norton Noyce (1927- )
David John Wheeler (1927- )
Bernard Aaron Galler (1928- )
Peter Naur (1928- )
Jean E. Sammet (1928- )
Gordon E. Moore (1929- )
Emerson W. Pugh (1929- )
Frederick Phillips Brooks, Ir. (1931- )
Ole-Johan Dahl (1931- )
Andrei Petrovich Ershov (1931-88)
Arie Van Wijngaarden (1933-87)
Chester Gordon Bell (1934- )
Ralph E. Griswold (1934- )
Brian Randell (1936- )
Philip Don Estridge (1938-85)
Donald Ervin Knuth (1938- )
Adam Osborne (1939- )
Gary A. Kildall (1942- )
Stephen Gary Wozniak (1950- )
William H. Gates (1955- )
Steven Paul Jobs (1955- )

Ralston, Anthony, and Edwin D. Reilly, Jr. (eds). 1983. Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York.

Ada (Augusta Ada King [née Byron] Countess of Lovelace)
Howard Aiken
John Vincent Atanasoff
Charles Babbage
George Boole
J. Presper Eckert
Wallace Eckert
Herman Hollerith
Grace Murray Hopper
Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz
John William Mauchly
Blaise Pascal
Alan M. Turing
John von Nuemann
Maurice V. Wilkes
Konrad Zuse

Richie, David. 1986. The Computer Pioneers, Simon and Shuster, New York.

Slater, Robert. 1987. Portraits in Silicon, MIT Press, Cambridge MA.

Charles Babbage
Alan Turing
John von Neumann
Claude Shannon
Konrad Zuse
John V. Atanasoff
John V. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert
Howard Aiken
Jay W. Forrester
Thomas J. Watson, Sr.
William Norris
H. Ross Perot
William Shockley
Robert Noyce
Jack Kilby
Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff
Gene Amdahl
Seymour Cray
Gordon Bell
Grace Murray Hopper
John Backus
John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz
Gary Kindall
William Gates
Dennis Ritchie and Kenneth Thompson
Daniel Bricklin
Nolan Bushnell
Steven Jobs
Adam Osborne
William Millard
Donald Knuth

Williams, Michael. A History of Computing Technology, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2nd Ed., 1997.

While not a collection of biographies, this book presents descriptions of the inventions and creations of:

Howard Aiken
John Vincent Atanasoff
Charles Babbage
Clifford Berry
René Grillet
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz
Percy Ludgate
Samuel Morland
John Napier
Blaise Pascal
Wilhelm Schickard
Alan M. Turing
Konrad Zuse

For More ABout Writing Assignments

HTML Formatting

The format of the HTML page for a biography should be as follows:
<title> (Name of Pioneer) </title>
<h1> (Name of Pioneer) </h1>
<h2> (Your name as author) </h2>
(Image of Pioneer - optional)
Name of pioneer, date of birth, location; two sentences briefly describing their
significance in the field.
<i>Education:</i> Degree, Field, Institution, date; (repeat as necessary).
<i>Professional Experience:</i> Position, company, dates; (repeat as necessary)
<i>Honors and Awards:</i> Award, Institution, date; (repeat as necessary)
Narrative biography of pioneer.
<u>Quotation:(A "famous" quotation from or about this pioneer -- optional)
<i>Biographical Publications</i>(This should a listing of your sources)
<i>Significant Publications</i> (A list of the important publications by the Pioneer)
(Word count)
<i><A HREF="mailto:(your e-mail address">(your name)</A></i>
(date of last update)

The file should be named <your last name>.<pioneer's last name>.html; if you include any image files, the begin their file name with your last name. Obviously if you are using IBM format then the 8-character name limit will force you to abbreviate this naming convention; your name is the most important part.

If you choose the second option, then the web page organization is a little more flexible. The outline should include:

<title> (Topic) </title>
<h1> (Topic) </h1>
<h2> (Your name as author) </h2>
(Image appropriate to the topic - optional)


(Word count)
<i><A HREF="mailto:(your e-mail address">(your name)</A></i>
(date of last update)
Copyright (your name), (date)

The file should be named <your last name>.<topic>.html; if you include any image files, the begin their file name with your last name. See the note about IBM short names above.

Last Updated 97/08/20
© J.A.N. Lee, 1996, 1997