The dedication of the Harvard Computing Center yesterday marked a historic point in the long relation between the University and the International Business Machines Corporation.
Hailed as "a great occasion for both education and industry," the dedication of the new center is the result of the close co-operation maintained between Harvard and IBM since the first large-scale digital computer was developed some 20 years ago. The machine was designed by Howard H. Aiken, professor emeritus of Applied Mathematics, in collaboration with IBM engineers. In operation since last May, the center provides research facilities for virtually all the University's departments and schools.
Speaking before some 150 scientists and administrative officials in the Jefferson Physics Laboratory, Harvey Brooks, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Physics, said the use of the computing center by all departments could prove "a very important unifying force in the University."
President Pusey expressed the hope that the center will aid the advancement of computer theory and open new fields for computer application. He called for a working relationship with people outside the University "to exploit this wonderful instrument."
Orland M. Scott, vice-president and group executive of IBM, said the scientific activities of education and industry must complement each other. Calling IBM's contributions "modest" compared to those of the Harvard Faculty, he said that university scientists are able to carry on more theoretical research than their commercial counterparts who are committed to immediate, practical results.
Both industry and the university share a responsibility to the nation, he continued; "industry to organize the means for satisfying the demands of society, and the university to-elevate those demands and make them more meaningful."
Anthony G. Oettinger '51, associate professor of Advanced Mathematics and head of the Faculty committee in charge of the Center, introduced the speakers and gave a brief history of computers at Harvard. Dean Brooks elaborated on their present use, pointing out that they are employed by some 20 courses and a freshman seminar, in addition to the many researchers.
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