Digital Computing in 1951

September 14, 2001

This talk will present a selective overview of the state of digital computers and computing exactly fifty years ago, from today's vantage point. It will advance the thesis that 1951 was a watershed year in the development and use of "large-scale" digitial computers, and it will raise the question, "was computing more fun in 1951?"

Bob Braden has been recognized for his long history of contributions to both the Internet and the networking community. He was a member of the original research program that developed the TCP/IP protocols, and he served for 13 years as a member of the Internet Activities Board that guided the technical evolution of the Internet starting in 1981. Beginning in 1970 he played a role in the development of some key protocols for the ARPAnet and the Internet, including the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), the Transport Control Protocol (TCP), and the Reservation Protocol (RSVP). He has also held numerous leadership positions within the Internet community. A contributor to the Internet Engineering and Research Task Forces (IETF and IRTF) since their inception, he has served as IETF RFC (Internet Request for Comments Series) co-Editor and Chair of the IRTF End-to-End Research Group. Bob is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).