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John Vincent Atanasoff

John Vincent Atanasoff (October 4, 1903 - June 15, 1995)

Pioneer in the field of, and an inventor of the digital electronic computer.

1925 Received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida. He held the distinction of receiving this grade with straight A's as an undergraduate.

1926 Master's degree in mathematics from Iowa State College.

Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Wisconsin.

Late 1930s developed the Atanasoff Berry Computer (ABC) with Clifford Berry. The ABC used binary math to solve differential equations. The ABC had no central processing unit (CPU), but it did employ vacuum tubes and other components similar to those used in later electronic computers.

In 1941 John Mauchly came to visit Atanasoff in Iowa to see the ABC. This visit and their correspondence resulted in much controversy over the who was the real inventor of the computer.

Finally in 1973 a judge overturned Mauchly and associate J. Presper Eckert's patent claims to the computer.

1981 receives the Computer Pioneer Medal.

1990 President George H. W. Bush awards Atanasoff the U.S. National Medal of Technology.

See also: History of computing hardware

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