Sep 9, 2010

George Stibitz

(Wikipedia) George Robert Stibitz (April 20, 1904 – January 31, 1995) is internationally recognized as one of the fathers of the modern digital computer. He was a Bell Labs researcher known for his 1930s and 1940s work on the realization of Boolean logic digital circuits using electromechanical relays as the switching element.
Born in York, Pennsylvania, he received his bachelor's degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, his master's degree from Union College in 1927, and his Ph.D. in mathematical physics in 1930 from Cornell University.
In November 1937, George Stibitz, then working at Bell Labs, completed a relay-based calculator he dubbed the "Model K" (for "kitchen table", on which he had assembled it), which calculated using binary addition. Bell Labs subsequently authorized a full research program in late 1938 with Stibitz at the helm. Their Complex Number Calculator, completed January 8, 1940, was able to do calculations on complex numbers. In a demonstration to the American Mathematical Society conference at Dartmouth College on September 11, 1940, Stibitz used a teletype to send commands to the Complex Number Calculator in New York over telephone lines. It was the first computing machine ever used remotely over a phone line. Continued