By Karl L. Wildes
Electrical engineering is a protean career. this present day the sector embraces many disciplines that appear a long way faraway from its roots within the telegraph, mobilephone, electrical lamps, vehicles, and turbines. To a awesome volume, this chronicle of swap and progress at a unmarried establishment is a tablet heritage of the self-discipline and occupation of electric engineering because it built world wide. even if MIT used to be now not major the best way, the dep. was once often speedy to conform to altering wishes, pursuits, curricula, and learn courses. What has remained consistent all through is the dynamic interplay of educating and examine, flexibility of management, the interconnections with commercial growth and nationwide priorities.
The book's textual content and plenty of images introduce readers to the well known academics and researchers who're nonetheless popular in engineering circles, between them: Vannevar Bush, Harold Hazen, Edward Bowles, Gordon Brown, Harold Edgerton, Ernst Guillemin, Arthur von Hippel, and Jay Forrester.
The e-book covers the department's significant parts of task -- electricity platforms, servomechanisms, circuit thought, communications concept, radar and microwaves (developed first on the famed Radiation Laboratory in the course of international warfare II), insulation and dielectrics, electronics, acoustics, and computation. This wealthy background of accomplishments exhibits in addition that years earlier than "Computer technological know-how" was once further to the department's identify such pioneering ends up in computation and keep an eye on as Vannevar Bush's Differential Analyzer, early cybernetic units and numerically managed servomechanisms, the Whirlwind laptop, and the evolution of time-sharing computation had already been achieved.
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Extra resources for A century of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, 1882-1982
According to Bruce, these experiments almost led Bell to the concept of the phonograph before Edison, but he veered off, became more involved in things electrical, and soon was earnestly seeking the way to transmit speech over telegraph lines. Recent books have traced the successive ideas and experiments leading to Bell's invention of the telephone in 1876l It seems clear from these that Bell consulted quite closely with Cross, who had, in fact worked earlier with Pickering at MIT on a kind of "tinbox rece1ver'' for picking up electrically the vibrations made by tuning forks.
Personal acquaintance with Cross was not easy, but behind his formality were broad interests: he had traveled to Europe and visited the great galleries; after the Boston Symphony Orchestra was formed 1n 1881 , he rarely missed a concert. By contrast. Holman was easier to know and love. Even after he was confined to a wheelchair by a crippling disease, he continued his active involvement with students. After the "new building" (later named Walker) became available in 1883, he orig1nated a large laboratory for electrical measurements and prepared laboratory manuals for all the phys1cs laboratories, including the one for dynamo-electric machinery.
D r . Louis Dun c a n. did n't l a st very long. Duncan was the first " outsider" to b e b ro u g ht in by Presid e n t P ritchett. who h a d come to M I T i n 1 900 apparently somewhat pers u a d ed t h a t t h e I n sti tute was too i n bred. h a v in g drawn too h e avily from its own stude nts for new fa culty. At t h e tu r n of the c e ntury Professor C ross was. i n f a c t . u rging P re s i d e n t Pritchett a n d the Executive Com m itte e of MIT to form a D e p a rt m e n t of Electric al Engi n e ering u n d er direction other th a n h i s own.