John Atanasoff, US inventor

John Atanasoff, US inventor

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995), US inventor, physicist and computer pioneer. Atanasoff studied electrical engineering, then mathematics, followed by a doctorate in theoretical physics. While a professor at Iowa State College, he and Clifford Berry developed the Atanasoff-Berry Computer in the period 1939 to 1942. This was not programmable, but included the binary arithmetic and electronic switching found in modern computers. Atanasoff also worked on seismographs and cybernetics. His awards include the Order of the People's Republic of Bulgaria (1985) and the National Medal of Technology (1990).

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