ACM History Fellowship

The Association for Computing Machinery, founded in 1947, is the oldest and largest educational and scientific society dedicated to the computing profession, and today has members in more than 100 countries. To encourage historical research, the ACM History Committee announces a new program of short-term fellowships in ACM history. This year we plan to make up to two $2,500 awards to support historical research on the wide variety of ACM related activities, including ACM members, officers, and prize winners, as well as ACM as an organization. Successful candidates may be of any rank, from graduate students through senior researchers.

The MIT Press Information Society Series -- An Interdisciplinary Series on Technology, Law, and Society

Series Editors, Laura DeNardis and Michael Zimmer

We are delighted to announce the formation of the MIT Press Information Society Series – an interdisciplinary series on technology, law, and society. The Information Society Series will address the social, legal, and policy implications of the Internet and new information technologies and will especially feature works from the growing global ranks of interdisciplinary scholars in information schools; communications departments; science, technology, and society programs; and programs in law, technology, and culture.

We are now accepting book proposals for the series. Preference will be given to monographs rather than edited volumes and books that are interdisciplinary, normative, and global in scope. Book proposals should include: 1) a prospectus (brief description, outstanding features and uniqueness of work, audience and market considerations, status of book, and recommended reviewers); 2) a detailed table of contents; 3) sample chapters; and 4) the author's curriculum vitae. Please submit completed proposals to and

History of Computing Prominent at 3 Societies Conference

The 2008 Joint Meeting of the BSHS, CSHPS, and HSS (aka 3 Societies) held at Keble College, Oxford in July was the site of several talks and sessions of interest to SIGCIS.

Michael S. Mahoney has passed away

Renowned historian, and friend and colleague of many SIGCIS members, Michael S. Mahoney, died last night. Further information, including UPDATES, is posted below.

UPDATE 7/28/08: Times of Trenton published an obituary, "Princeton University loses a 'master teacher'". The Times article relays Angela Creager's apt summary of Mike's gifts as a teacher.

Call for Syllabi

One of the missions of SIGCIS is to create a repository of history of computing syllabi. The subject is taught all over the world, but there's not enough interaction between those who teach it. What better way to start than to share the syllabi we've developed?

If you would like to contribute yours to the collection here, just email it to

Charles Babbage, 'Irascible Genius,' and the First Computer

(Doron Swade's Computer History Museum Lecture on Charles Babbage and his Engines, May 10, 2008 at the Opening of the Babbage Exhibit at the Museum)

Alan J. Weissberger IEEE Sr. Member and Program Chair IEEE ComSoc SCV

Disclaimer: All opinions, inferences and conclusions expressed in the article are that of noted Babbage authority Doron Swade, who presented the lecture. Dr. Swade later clarified various aspects of his talk as well as the construction of Babbage Difference Engine 2 at the London Museum of Science, where he was responsible for its construction and a documentary video.

May 30 U of M conference explores gender gap in computing professions

The University of Minnesota's Charles Babbage Institute presents an international conference exploring the gender gap in computing on Friday, May 30, at the Charles Babbage Institute, Anderson Library, 222 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required for lunch and/or dinner.

The conference, entitled History | Gender | Computing, features presenters from six countries who will observe that women were active participants in the early days of computer programming, but examine why computing today is one of the most gender-segregated domains of modern life. Complementing the presentations is a scheduled poster session, showcasing additional views and innovative projects, as well as a new exhibit, "Gendered Bits," exploring how gender has shaped the professional identities and material culture of computing.

Charles Babbage Difference Engine #2 -- See it LIVE !!

On May 10, 2008, Join the Computer History Museum in launching its exciting new exhibit: "Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2," exhibited for the first time in North America.

This five-ton Engine is one of only two of Charles Babbage's computing engines ever built. Designed to calculate and print mathematical tables, it is made of 8,000 parts of bronze, cast iron and steel and measures 11 feet long by 7 feet high. Come see docents crank the Engine by hand and watch it mechanically calculate - an arresting spectacle of automatic computing.

Old computer journals available

Zachary Schrag (George Mason Univ.) is giving away many volumes of the Communications of the ACM and Computing Reviews. Below, I've reposted his message (originally from H-SCI-MED-TECH).

Subject: Old computer journals available
From: "Zachary Schrag"
Date: Sat, January 12, 2008 3:55 am

My stepfather, Robert Fenichel, is cleaning out his Washington, D.C.,
basement and would like to know if anyone wants the following
computer journals:

GenBank at 25 Celebration at NIH

The GenBank database is turning 25 this year and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) will be holding a major celebration on April 7-8, 2008. The mood of the event seems to be quite triumphal. Speakers include J. Craig Venter, Sydney Brenner, Francis Collins, and Elias Zerhouni. The event is open to all but registration is required. See:


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