Vannevar Bush biography

Vannevar Bush

Electrical engineer, Inventor

1890 – 1974

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Who was Vannevar Bush?

Vannevar Bush was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, whose most important contribution was as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II, through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project. His office was considered one of the key factors in winning the war. He is also known in engineering for his work on analog computers, for founding Raytheon, and for the memex, an adjustable microfilm viewer with a structure analogous to that of the World Wide Web. In 1945, Bush published As We May Think in which he predicted that "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified". The memex influenced generations of computer scientists, who drew inspiration from its vision of the future.

For his master's thesis, Bush invented and patented a "profile tracer", a mapping device for assisting surveyors. It was the first of a string of inventions. He joined the Department of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1919, and founded the company now known as Raytheon in 1922. Starting in 1927, Bush constructed a differential analyzer, an analog computer with some digital components that could solve differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables. An offshoot of the work at MIT by Bush and others was the beginning of digital circuit design theory. Bush became Vice President of MIT and Dean of the MIT School of Engineering in 1932, and president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1938.

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Born
Mar 11, 1890
Everett
Parents
Spouses
Children
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tufts University
  • Harvard University
Employment
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Died
Jun 28, 1974
Belmont

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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