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By Karl L. Wildes

Electrical engineering is a protean occupation. at the present time the sector embraces many disciplines that appear a ways faraway from its roots within the telegraph, phone, electrical lamps, cars, and turbines. To a outstanding quantity, this chronicle of swap and progress at a unmarried establishment is a tablet historical past of the self-discipline and career of electric engineering because it constructed around the world. even if MIT was once no longer best the way in which, the dep. used to be often quickly to evolve to altering wishes, pursuits, curricula, and study courses. What has remained consistent all through is the dynamic interplay of educating and learn, flexibility of management, the interconnections with business growth and nationwide priorities.

The book's textual content and plenty of images introduce readers to the popular academics and researchers who're nonetheless popular in engineering circles, between them: Vannevar Bush, Harold Hazen, Edward Bowles, Gordon Brown, Harold Edgerton, Ernst Guillemin, Arthur von Hippel, and Jay Forrester.

The e-book covers the department's significant parts of job -- electricity structures, servomechanisms, circuit thought, communications thought, radar and microwaves (developed first on the famed Radiation Laboratory in the course of international conflict II), insulation and dielectrics, electronics, acoustics, and computation. This wealthy historical past of accomplishments indicates furthermore that years earlier than "Computer technological know-how" used to be additional to the department's identify such pioneering ends up in computation and keep an eye on as Vannevar Bush's Differential Analyzer, early cybernetic units and numerically managed servomechanisms, the Whirlwind computing device, and the evolution of time-sharing computation had already been achieved.

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Additional info for A century of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, 1882-1982

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Havi ng c a rried m aj o r res po n s i b ilities i n t h e setti n g u p o f t h e new d e p a rt m e n t i n 1 90 1 -2, a n d havi n g h e avily contri b uted to its m a n a g e m e n t d u ring the D uncan admin istration , C l ifford w a s a b l e to g ive i m m ed i a te and competent l e a d e rs h i p to d e p a rt m e n t affa i rs . H e looked upon the l ect u re m e thod o f teaching u n d e r­ gradu ates as infe rior to the u se of good text m ate ri a l with cla s s disc u s s ions o f difficult concepts a nd the worki n g of p ro b l e m s u n d e r the s u p e rvis ion of instruc­ tors.

Professor Dugald C. Jackson, who was to move to MIT in 1907, believed that the department of electrical engineering that he organized in 1891 at the University of Wisconsin was the nation's first. His cla1m seems not to have been challenged during h1s lifetime. In Europe, also. early courses had been established. Pioneers in electrical science in Germany, France, England, Italy, Austria. and Russia were teaching the practical applications of electricity before 1882. The Germans recognize Professor Erasmus Kittler as founder of the first faculty of electrical engineering in the German-speaking countries, authorized to administer doctoral programs at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt in November 1882.

M I T m i g h t not h a ve been as pre­ p a re d for l a t e r c h alle n ges had n ot Compton been brou ght In at this p e riod . In a sense , his a c tivities were a return to the p rese n ce a n d style of Will i a m B a rto n Rogers, exc ept that t h e phYSICS was ra d i c a lly n ew . Com pton's close work with B ush d e scribed l ater, is represe ntative of the m o v e m e n t of eve nts d u ri n g the 1930s and 1940s. , In the arts , d u ring the sa m e p e riod, the world saw C ubism b u rst out of I m p ressio n ism , d a lly with D a d a­ is m , a n d move into p u re abst raction; i n m usic there were exp e ri m e n ts with ato n a l composition .

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