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Computing machines in change: mathematics, engineering and society. Festschrift for Hartmut Petzold on his 65th birthday. Selected papers of a colloquium, Deutsches Museum, München, Germany, July 10, 2009. (Rechnende Maschinen im Wandel: Mathematik, Technik, Gesellschaft. Festschrift für Hartmut Petzold zum 65. Geburtstag.) (German)
Preprint, Deutsches Museum 3. München: Deutsches Museum. 222~p. (2011).
This Festschrift in honor of the historian of technology Hartmut Petzold, curator at the Deutsches Museum was the outcome of a conference. There are five presentations represented. Erhard Anthes describes the introduction of the logarithmic slide-rule in the German educational system and notes that the several-hundred year old instrument was introduced into schools only in the twentieth century. Joachim Fischer recounts the key role Heinz Adler played with the firm A. Ott and Ott’s collaborator Alwin Walther in the early twentieth century in the manufacture of scientific instruments. Use is made of the correspondence between Ott and Walther. Ulf Hashagen gives an overview of the history of scientific computing and informatics within the German scientific community 1870‒1970. The years after 1945 are shown to have a history distinct from that of England or the United States. Rudolf Seising looks at the evolving relationship between the “hard” (exact, rigorous) sciences and “soft” computing (artificial intelligence, system theory). Biology is viewed as the area where these two have had fruitful, collaborative application. The concluding piece by Hans Dieter Hellige gives an account of Petzold’s own influential work in the social history of computing. The volume includes bibliographies for each article and a listing of Petzold’s publications.
Reviewer: Albert C. Lewis (Austin)
Classification: A30 P10
Keywords: computing
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