This interview was conducted by CBI for CS&E in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the University of Minnesota Computer Science Department (now Computer Science and Engineering, CS&E). Professor Franta briefly discusses early education and interests. He attended the University of Minnesota (UMN), went on to complete his doctorate at the UMN in Mathematics/Computer Science orientation and signed on to be one of the founding members of the Computer Science Department as well as provided important leadership to the computer center as its Associate Director. The interview is especially rich in discussing the computer center, research projects with local computer companies, and the importance of the department to the industry and the industry to the department. Professor Franta did very extensive consulting with computer companies local and national while at the UMN (Control Data, Honeywell, Sperry Univac, Network Systems, 3M, and others)—along with government (NSF especially) important to setting up UMN CS labs. It is also offers considerable and important discussion of the 11 early faculty members of the Computer Science Department, their research and specialization and how the department was building coverage to educate from very early on after the department formation in artificial intelligence, programming languages, operations research, numerical analysis/mathematics, automata theory, and other areas. In addition to discussing his work at the University of Minnesota, he also touches on his second career in industry as senior executive at Network Systems and other firms.
Oral History Interview with William Franta, Ph.D..
Charles Babbage Institute.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
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