A Science of Operations pp 99-121 | Cite as

# Automating Control

## Abstract

In October 1945, a conference on Advanced Computation Techniques was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many of the presentations at the conference were about a new type of computing machine, one which worked on digital rather than analogue principles, provided a much greater degree of automation than existing machines, and in some cases held the promise of extremely fast computational speeds. There were many differences of detail between these machines, and the fact that one of them, the ENIAC, was the first large-scale electronic machine has often led historians to consider it in isolation as a precursor of later developments. However, when viewed from the perspective of the development of programming, it is evident that a common approach informs the design of all these machines, one which represents a distinctive stage in the development of automatic computation. This chapter gives a brief description of some of these machines and the way they were programmed, before drawing some general conclusions about their common features.

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