2010 Computer History Museum Prize

Atsushi Akera, Calculating a Natural World: Scientists, Engineers, and Computers During the Rise of U.S. Cold War Research (MIT Press, 2007)

Prize Citation

Akera's ambitious and theoretically-sophisticated study is both a history of mid-century computing and a history of an emerging infrastructure for Cold War research in the U.S. From wartime work on ENIAC, to the development of time-sharing at MIT and Michigan, to IBM's entry into technical computing, the impressively researched case studies in each chapter revisit well-known episodes in computing history as part of a much larger story. Akera's interest in the productive tensions that animated the work of the military-industrial-academic complex -- extending existing scholarship in this area -- undergirds a grounded theory of innovation that will shape future work in our field. We believe the book's treatment of core episodes in computing history as well as its "ecology of knowledge" perspective will find a wide audience.

2010 Prize Committee Members

Jennifer S. Light (Chair)
Northwestern University
School of Communication
2240 Campus Drive, Room 2-152
Evanston, IL 60208-2952
light@northwestern.edu

Thomas J. Misa
Charles Babbage Institute
211 Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
tmisa@umn.edu

Pierre Mounier-Kuhn
CNRS & Université Paris-Sorbonne
28 rue Serpente,
75006 Paris, France
mounier@msh-paris.fr