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Computing Facilities May Be Expanded

Financing, Locations, Still in Question


Harvard will probably spend between $250,000 and $500,000 to more than double its computing facilities and the number of its terminals, Lewis A. Laws, associate director of the Science Center, said yesterday.

"We need more space," Stephen P. Dyer, systems programmer at the Science Center, said. The present system is overused and insufficient to handle undergraduate usage, Laws said.

"I would not be too keen on teaching Nat Sci 110 again without another computer," William H. Bossert '59, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Mathematics said yesterday.

With another computer around it would be only a difficulty, instead of a crisis, when one is not working, he added.

Double Time

Laws estimated that computer usage will at least double because of the Core Curriculum proposal that would require all students at Harvard after next fall to have some knowledge of computer programming.

"Everyone is going to have some computer literacy," Richard G. Leahy, associate dean of the Faculty for resources and planning, said yesterday.

The new computers would allow an increase in the number of terminals from the current 32 to possibly 80 terminals, Laws said.

Ann B. Spence, associate dean of the College, said she hopes some of the new terminals will be placed in two satellite terminal rooms--one at the River Houses and one at the Quad.

Satellite Stations

Neither Spence nor Laws would say exactly where the satellite stations might go. "Space is a problem. We don't know where to put them," Laws said. "Finding 500 square feet of space in the Houses is not a trivial matter," he added.

Some of the terminals will probably be installed at Hilles Library, although it closes at midnight and so is not ideal, Laws said.

"I have approached some of the Houses, but they all feel they have better uses for the space. Everyone wants the terminals, but not in their own backyards," Laws said.

Borrowed Time

The new computing facilities would enable professors in the social sciences to use computers for teaching and research. Many professors are now unable to use computer facilities, Laws said.

Often professors must buy expensive computer time from M I T, Dartmouth College, or Michigan University, James A. Davis, professor of Sociology, said yesterday. "I would rather be using Harvard facilities. It would be a lot cheaper," he added.

Dean Rosovsky will decide whether to outlay funds for the new facilities, Leahy said.

Rosovsky could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Laws said he would like to order the new computers within a month so that they would be ready for use next fall.

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