In the mid 1940s, John von Neumann revolutionized the nascent field of computing by showing that program instructions could be stored in a computer's memory instead of on external panels or punch cards. In John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing
, William Aspray details the design and construction of von Neumann's computer systems and explains the broader implications of von Neumann's contributions. Aspray discusses von Neumann's fame in the realms of mathematics, physics, and economics and his remarkable career, which included work as an atomic energy commissioner and as principal scientific adviser to the U.S. Air Force on ballistic missile development. By examining the interplay of science, military, and business, which formed the background for von Neumann's work, Aspray does an excellent job of placing von Neumann's accomplishments in computer science into the context of his other achievements.
About the Author
William Aspray is Bill and Lewis Suit Professor of Information Technologies in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the coeditor of Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation
(2006) and The Internet and American Business
(2008), both published by the MIT Press.