In the first session of the interview, Stein discusses his early career and the formation of the University of Minnesota's computing facilities. After learning basic digital and analog operation during World War II, he obtained a doctorate in mathematics from UCLA. While teaching numerical analysis at UCLA, he also worked on missile simulation at Convair, Inc., in San Diego. After becoming familiar with the ERA 1103 computer Convair purchased from Engineering Research Associates, Stein made frequent consultant visits to ERA headquarters in Minnesota. In 1955, the University of Minnesota hired Stein to introduce their first computer courses and administer ERA's gift of free computer time. He describes early computer applications to crystallography and low-energy electron scattering, and the policy he established for the computer center to make users self-sufficient programmers. Stein reviews the growth of the Computer Center: the acquisition of an ERA 1103 computer with National Science Foundation support, the construction and use of a hybrid computer out of the 1103 and a Reeves Electronic Analog Computer (REAC), and the purchase in 1960 of Control Data 1604 and 1700 computers.
In the second session, Stein discusses the formation of Minnesota's program in computer science. He explains the rationale for his 1966 proposal for a graduate program in computer science and for the move in 1969 to a department of computer science independent from mathematics and electrical engineering. Stein reviews the curriculum that was intended to introduce students to a wide variety of applications so that they could introduce computer science into other disciplines. Stein discusses the difficulties in hiring enough qualified faculty members, the relations between the computer center and the computer science department, and the state's attempt to bring all educational computing under the control of the Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium.
Marvin L. Stein, OH 90. Oral history interview by William Aspray, 29 October and 7 November 1984, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. http://purl.umn.edu/107639
Transcript, 71 pp. Audio file available at http://purl.umn.edu/95280
Stein, Marvin L..
Oral history interview with Marvin L. Stein.
Charles Babbage Institute.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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