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John P. Nash papers

 Collection
Identifier: CBI 14

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains reports relating to the ILLIAC, ORDVAC, and the Digital Computer Laboratory, mimeographed lecture notes, a small amount of correspondence and articles, all relating to University of Illinois computing activities. In addition, there are articles and reprints on: ILLIAC-generated music composition, a review of computer progress for 1955, and an article with information about the ILLIAC written in Japanese. A file on the Digital Computer Laboratory includes reports and on the curriculum, staffing, use, and facilities of the lab, as well as information about the use, order code, and operation of the ILLIAC. Mathematics 385 materials include lecture notes that are mimeographed, as well as typed hand-outs on different aspects of computer programming. ONR Task 30 materials contain progress reports and an application for extension of a research project in numerical analysis that was supervised by Nash. ORDVAC Progress Reports contain information about the general status, design, testing, and personnel of the Army project.

Dates

  • 1949-1957

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Access to materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.

Copyright:

CBI holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Biographical Note

John P. Nash was a faculty member of the University of Illinois' Digital Computing Lab, which oversaw the development of the university's first two computers, the ORDVAC and ILLIAC. Nash received a Ph.D. in mathematics at Rice University (1940), taught at Notre Dame, and worked as a physicist for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation before coming the University of Illinois in 1950.

Work on both Illinois computers had begun in 1949. The ORDVAC was constructed under contract for the U.S. Army to be located at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The ILLIAC remained at Illinois and was the focus for work at the Digital Computing Laboratory. Nash served as an applied mathematician for the lab, and supervised research in numerical analysis under contract for the Office of Naval Research. Nash also taught early computer courses, including Mathematics 385, Digital Computer Programming,an introductory course that utilized the ILLIAC.

Nash left the university in 1956 to join Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, where he eventually served as vice president and assistant general manager of the Research and Development Division.

Extent

1 box (0.1 cubic feet)

Abstract

Collection contains reports relating to the ILLIAC, ORDVAC, and the Digital Computer Laboratory, mimeographed lecture notes, a small amount of correspondence, and articles, all relating to the University of Illinois' computing activities. The articles and reprints include a two-page article on an ILLIAC-generated music composition, a review of computer progress for 1955 (by Nash), and an article with information about the ILLIAC written in Japanese. Also included are ONR Task 30 records and ORDVAC progress reports.

Acquisition:

The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Kenneth W. Kolence in 1984.
Title
John P. Nash Papers, 1949-1957. Finding Aid.
Author
Prepared by Bruce H. Bruemmer, March 1991.
Date
2004
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Contact:

612-624-5050