ENIAC is 55!
The School of Engineering and Applied Science is celebrating ENIAC's
55th birthday with the premiere of a new documentary feature on the invention
of ENIAC entitled Mauchly: The Computer and the Skateboard. The feature-length
video is directed by Paul David and Jim Reed (Mr. Mauchly's grandson).
Mr. David says, "the video tells the story of what happens to the inventor
as the huge potential of his invention begins to dawn on those around him--from
its triumphant unveiling and first successful operations, to the crushing
blow of being stripped of its patent. It is a revealing look at the history
of computation and a tribute to one of the unsung scientific heroes of the
twentieth century." The video features interviews with Mauchly's former
colleagues, friends, computer programmers, and Mauchly's widow. The title
of the video comes from recollections by Mauchly's former Ursinus students
of a professor who zipped around the classroom on a homemade, jet-propelled
skateboard in order to demonstrate Newton's laws of motion. The video,
according to the director, documents an early chapter of a story which continues
into the present: the excitement of creating new technology as well
as the inevitable sharks swimming in its wake.
SEAS invites the University community to attend the presentation, which
will take place on February 14, in Heilmeier Hall, first floor of the Towne
Building, at 4:30 p.m., followed by a reception. Director Paul David
will be on hand to answer questions. "The School takes great pride
in its association with an invention that has so dramatically influenced
society and that continues to be the genesis of many of the technological
advances of today," says SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt. "We welcome
your attendance at this premiere event."