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It was the first permanent IBM installation in the world to do scientific work Comrie's Greenwich setup had not been permanent. In late , Eckert presented a paper on this work to the American Astronomical Society. A seemingly mundane but significant aspect of this work was the new ability to feed the result of one computation into the next and print the results of these calculations directly, thus eliminating the transcription errors that were common in astronomical and lunar tables [ 17 ]. To illustrate with a quote from Kay Antonelli, University of Pennsylvania, referring to her wartime work [ 34 ], "We did have desk calculators at that time, mechanical and driven with electric motors, that could do simple arithmetic. You'd do a multiplication and when the answer appeared, you had to write it down to reenter it into the machine to do the next calculation. We were preparing a firing table for each gun, with maybe 1, simple trajectories. To hand-compute just one of these trajectories took 30 or 40 hours of sitting at a desk with paper and a calculator. Ben Wood and his Statistical Bureau work with IBM to develop mark-sense technology to improve the efficiency of processing standardized tests [ 9 ]. Wood is remembered at Columbia through the Ben D. Wood Graduate Fellowships in Learning Technologies , and at the Educational Testing Service , which dedicated its largest building to him in Contains articles by Ben Wood and Wallace Eckert, among many others. Most of the applications described are straighforward tabulating and bookkeeping operations; Eckert's is the exception. In Eckert's Lab, she programmed and performed scientific computations on the , , and other machines. Out of professional staff members, 35 are definitely women. Many more are listed with only initials; some others by Romanized Chinese name which generally does not indicate gender. This consists primarily of 1 numerical integration of the equations of planetary motion; 2 complete checking of the lunar theory; 3 computation of precession and rectangular co-ordinates for the Yale University Zone Catalogues ; 4 the photometric program of the Rutherford Observatory; and 5 problems of stellar statistics. Users of the Bureau were charged only for labor and materials a tremendous bargain, since the equipment was donated. In , Soviet astronomer Boris Numerov visits Eckert's lab to learn how punched card equipment might be applied to "stellar research" in his own lab at St. Petersburg University in Moscow. The website of the Tosno Museum of Local History and Tradition Leningrad Region says as of 12 Sep "An exhibit section is devoted to Boris Numerov - a prominent astronomer, land-surveyor and geophysicist, a creator of various astronomic instruments and means of minerals exploring. His family has lived in the town of Lyuban' not far from Tosno since In the times of Stalinist repressions Boris Numerov was arrested and executed in In he was rehabilitated. In June , a letter arrives for Eckert from V. Jan Schilt , now in charge of the Lab, forwards it to Eckert in Washington. In August , I. Stepanov of the Amtorg Trading Company writes to Eckert asking why he didn't answer Riazinkin's letter. Here's the final paragraph of Eckert's reply cc'd to Schilt: May I take the opportunity to state that one of your eminent scientists, the late Dr. Numerov, corresponded with me several years ago concerning this very problem [machine construction of astronomical tables for navigation]. It was his intention to secure a similar installation, and had one in operation. I sincerely hope that his interest in my machines was not construed by his government as treason, and that Mr. Riazankin will not meet the same fate as Dr. Schilt writes to Eckert from Columbia on August 9th: Concerning the letter of Mr. Stepanov I am shivering a little bit. Your reply to him is extremely strong and clear, so much so that I would not be surprised if I wouldn't hear from them at all, and frankly I just soon would not In fact, Amtorg was not just a front; it handled the bulk of Soviet-American trade for many years, but it was also an ideal spot for the placement of spies. Was Riazankin a spy? In any case he was never heard from again. Herb Grosch reports that Soviet astronomers continued to pay occasional visits to Watson Lab after the War, e. Howard Aiken , a Harvard graduate student who was working on plans for a machine to solve differential equations as part of his thesis, visits Professor Eckert's Lab; IBM engineer Clair D. Lake who built Eckert's switch box is also present. Within a few months this work would become the Manhattan Project, funded by President Roosevelt Columbia Law, in response to Albert Einstein's letter warning of Nazi research in this area. After Pearl Harbor, the project moved to the University of Chicago supposedly to make it less vulnerable to German attack and spread to the University of California, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Hanford, and other locations. A number of other Columbia scientists worked on the project, including I. Rabi , Edward Teller , John Dunning who identified U as the fissionable uranium isotope using the Pupin cyclotron in Feb , Harold Urey who later left the project on moral grounds , and George Pegram who assembled the original Manhattan Project team , as well as junior faculty who would later become well-known physicists, such as C. Calculations at Los Alamos were originally done on manually operated mechanical calculators, which was not only laborious and time-consuming, but the machines broke down frequently under heavy use. The only one who could fix them promptly was Richard Feynman Nobel Prize in Physics, , which some thought was not the best use of his time. Robert Oppenheimer had recruited from Columbia University to oversee procurement for Los Alamos, recognized that the calculators were not adequate for the heavy computational chores and suggested the use of IBM punched-card machines. He had seen them used successfully by Wallace Eckert at Columbia to calculate the orbits of planets and persuaded [Stanley] Frankel and [Eldred] Nelson to order a complement of them. Each one had a Marchant. But one was the multiplier, and another was the adder, and this one cubed, and all she did was cube this number and send it to the next one,' said Feynmann. For one day, the hand computers kept up: But the girls got tired after a while. Columbia University's Baker Field at th Street in upper Manhattan was the site of the nation's first televised sports event , a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton universities, May 17, , broadcast by NBC. The first televised sports event in the world was the Olympics in Berlin.
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