John Vincent Atanasoff

John Vincent Atanasoff

Birth
Hamilton County, New York, USA
Death 15 Jun 1995 (aged 91)
Frederick County, Maryland, USA
Burial Mount Airy, Carroll County, Maryland, USA
Memorial ID 10142061 · View Source
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Considered the inventor of the modern computer with assistance from Clifford Berry. Attended Mulberry Senior High School in Mulberry, Florida. Awarded the National Medal of Technology on November 13, 1990 at the White House by President George H.W. Bush.Noted Computer Pioneer: inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer, a machine he developed with the assistance of his graduate student Clifford Edward Berry.

Atanasoff studied physics and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. With Clifford Berry, he developed the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (1937 – 42), a machine capable of solving differential equations using binary arithmetic. In 1941 he joined the Naval Ordnance Laboratory; he participated in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll (1946). In 1952 he established the Ordnance Engineering Co., which he later sold to Aerojet Engineering Corp.

In 1973, after a judge voided a patent owned by Sperry Rand Corp. on ENIAC, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer was credited as the first electronic digital computer.
Inventor-John Vincent Atanasoff, Ph.D.
The first electronic digital computer was designed by him in the late 1930's and built with his graduate student, Clifford Berry, during the period 1939 to 1942 at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa. The primary motivation for this first computer was to build a more effective way to figure out linear algebraic equations. At that time, analog computers were considered the best way to figure out mathematical problems. He decided to focus on digital computers as the more effective way to solve these problems. It took an historic court case, concluded in 1973, (Honeywell v. Sperry Rand) to conclusively determine that he and Clifford Berry were the co-inventors of the electronic digital computer. The first computer is called the Atanasoff-Berry computer. He was the son of a Bulgarian immigrant, born in Hamilton, New York. Early on, he said he was interested in mathematics and he credits early support from his parents for nurturing his interests. In fact he said that exposure to his Dad's book on college algebra, in pre-teen years, helped him to decide to use a specific numbering system within the computer that became the standard for computers.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Juggalette
  • Added: 16 Dec 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 10142061
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Vincent Atanasoff (4 Oct 1903–15 Jun 1995), Find a Grave Memorial no. 10142061, citing Pine Grove Cemetery, Mount Airy, Carroll County, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Juggalette (contributor 46626035) .