John Mauchly

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John William Mauchly (August 30, 1907 – January 8, 1980) was an American physicist who, along with J. Presper Eckert, designed ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic digital computer, as well as EDVAC, BINAC and UNIVAC I, the first commercial computer made in the United States.

Together they started the first computer company, the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC), and pioneered fundamental computer concepts including the stored program, subroutines, and programming languages. Their work, as exposed in the widely read First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (1945) and as taught in the Moore School Lectures (1946), influenced an explosion of computer development in the late 1940s all over the world.


Early life and education

Mauchly was born on August 30, 1907 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in Chevy Chase, Maryland while his father Sebastian Mauchly was a physicist at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, D.C. He earned the Engineering Scholarship of the State of Maryland, which enabled him to enroll at Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 1925 as an undergraduate in the Electrical Engineering program. In 1927 he enrolled directly in a Ph.D. program there and transferred to the graduate physics program of the university. He completed his Ph.D. in 1932 and became a professor of physics at Ursinus College near Philadelphia, where he taught from 1933 to 1941. At Ursinus he worked for several years developing a digital electronic computing machine to test the theory that solar fluctuations, sun spots in particular, affect our weather.

Moore School

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