Colloquium: November 1, 2016

First Electronic Digital Computer

Seymour B. Horowitz

(video) within the Langley firewall only
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. in the Pearl Young Theater


This lecture is about the development of the first electronic digital computer. It will address the need for such a computer and the design, construction, and funding. The presentation will also include the people involved and their contributions to this epic effort.


Seymour B. Horowitz was born in Philadelphia, he excelled in math and science in high school, and he enlisted into the U.S. Navy. He was assigned to Wright College in Chicago and then to Grove City College for advanced electrical engineering training. After World War II, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Electronic Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He transferred to the Naval Reserve and was employed by the Remington Rand Univac Division as a digital circuit designer. He received a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, with a specialty in digital computer design, from the University of Pennsylvania. He transferred his employment to General Electric to work on the Apollo computer controlled testing programs. He relocated to California and was employed at Litton Industries, working on the Army’s programs for implementing computer control to their air defense systems. He was employed at The Aerospace Corporation and worked for the next 30 years on four major Air Force satellite defense systems.