|Herman Heine Goldstine
(September 13, 1913 – June 16, 2004), mathematician, computer
scientist and scientific administrator, was a one of the original
developers of ENIAC, the first of the modern electronic digital
Herman Heine Goldstine was born in Chicago in 1913. He attended the
University of Chicago, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a degree
Mathematics in 1933, a master's degree in 1934 and a PhD. in 1936. For
three years he was a research assistant under Gilbert Ames Bliss, an
authority on the mathematical theory of exterior ballistics. In 1939
Goldstine began a teaching career at the University of Michigan, until
the United States' entry into World War II when he joined the Army. In
1941 he married Adele Katz who was an ENIAC programmer and wrote the
technical description for ENIAC. He had a daughter and a son with
Adele who died in 1964. Two years later he married Ellen Watson.
In retirement Goldstine became executive director of the American
Philosophical Society in Philadelphia between 1985 and 1997 where he
was able to attract many prestigious visitors and speakers.
Goldstine died on June 16, 2004 at his home in Bryn Mawr,
Pennsylvania. His death was announced by the Thomas J. Watson Research
Center in Yorktown Heights, New York where a postdoctoral fellowship
was renamed in his honor.
BRL and the Moore School
As a result of the United States' entering World War II, Goldstine
left the University of Michigan where he was a professor in July, 1942
to enlist in the Army. He was commissioned a lieutenant and worked as
an ordnance mathematician calculating firing tables at the Ballistic
Research Laboratory (BRL) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The
firing tables were used in battle to find the appropriate elevation
and azimuth for aiming artillery, which had a range of several miles.
The firing table calculations were accomplished by about one hundred
women operating mechanical desk calculators. Each combination of gun,
round and geographical region required a unique set of firing tables.
It took about 750 calculations to compute a single trajectory and each
table had about 3,000 trajectories. It took one of these people—known,
ironically, as computers—about 12 days to compute one trajectory, and
more than four years to compute a table. To increase production, BRL
enlisted the computing facilities of the Moore School of Electrical
Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and Goldstine was the
liaison between BRL and the university.
While making some adjustments to the Moore School's differential
analyzer, engineer Joseph Chapline suggested Goldstine visit John
Mauchly, a physics instructor at the Moore School, who had distributed a
memorandum proposing that the calculations could be done thousands of
times faster with an electronic computer using vacuum tubes. Mauchly
wrote a proposal and in June 1943 he and Goldstine secured funding from
the Army for the project. The ENIAC was built in 30 months with 200,000
man hours. The ENIAC was huge, measuring 30 by 60 feet and weighing 30
tons with 18,000 vacuum tubes. The device could only store 20 numbers
and took days to program. It was completed in late 1945 as World War II
was coming to an end.
In spite of disappointment that ENIAC had not contributed to the war
effort, interest remained strong in the Army to develop an electronic
computer. Prior even to the ENIAC's completion, the Army procured a
second contract from the Moore School to build a successor machine known
as the EDVAC. Goldstine, Mauchly, J. Presper Eckert and Arthur Burks
began to study the development of the new machine in the hopes of
correcting the deficiencies of the ENIAC.
Meeting von Neumann
In the summer of 1944 Goldstine had a chance encounter with the
prominent mathematician John von Neumann on a railway platform in
Aberdeen, Maryland where Goldstine described his project at University
of Pennsylvania. Unknown to Goldstine, von Neumann was working on the
top secret Manhattan Project that was building the first atomic bomb.
The calculations needed for this project were also daunting.
The First Draft
As a result of the conversations with Goldstine, von Neumann joined the
study group and wrote a memo called First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC.
Von Neumann intended this to be a memo to the study group, but Goldstine
typed it up into a 101 page document that listed von Neumann as the sole
author. On June 25, 1946, Goldstine forwarded 24 copies of the document
to those intimitely involved in the EDVAC project; dozens or perhaps
hundreds of mimeographs of the report were forwarded to von Neumann's
colleagues at universities in the U.S. and in England in the weeks that
followed. While incomplete, the paper was very well received and became
a blueprint for building electronic digital computers. Due to von
Neuman's prominence as a major American mathematician the EDVAC
architecture became known as the von Neumann architecture.
One of the key ideas was that the computer would store a program in its
electronic memory rather than programming the computer using mechanical
switches and patch cables. This, and other ideas in the paper had been
discussed in the EDVAC study group before Von Neumann joined the group.
The fact that other members of the group were not listed as authors
created resentment that led to the group's dissolution at the end of the
Eckert and Mauchly went on to form the Eckert-Mauchly Computer
Corporation, a company that in part survives today as the Unisys
Corporation, while von Neumann, Goldstine and Burks went on to academic
life at the Institute for Advanced Study. In Summer 1946, all of them
reunited to give presentations at the first computer course, which has
come to be known as the Moore School Lectures; Goldstine's
presentations, given without notes, covered deeply and rigorously
numerical mathematical methods useful in programs for digital computers.
Institute for Advanced Study
After World War II Goldstine joined von Neumann and Burks at the
Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University where they built a
computer referred to as the IAS machine. Goldstine was appointed
assistant director of the project and director after 1954.
The IAS machine influenced the design of IBMs early computers, through
von Neumann who was a consultant to IBM. When von Neumann died in 1958,
the IAS computer project terminated. Goldstine went on to become the
founding director of the Mathematical Sciences Department at IBM's
Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York.
At IBM one of Goldstine's most significant roles was in fostering
relations between IBM researchers and the academic community. In 1969 he
was appointed an IBM Fellow, the company's most prestigious technical
honor, and a consultant to the director of research. As a fellow
Goldstine developed an interest in the history of computing and
mathematical sciences. He wrote three books on the topic; The Computer
from Pascal to von Neumann, History of Numerical Analysis from the 16th
Through the 19th Century and History of the Calculus of Variations from
the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Century. As the title implies, in
The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann, Goldstine leaves little doubt
that in his opinion von Neumann played a critical role in developing
modern theories of computing.
Awards and honoraria
* Harry H. Goode Memorial Award in 1979
* National Medal of Science (1983)
* Hall of Fame of the Army Ordnance Department (1997)
* IEEE Pioneer Award
* member of the National Academy of Science
* member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
* member of the American Philosophical Society
* Arthur W. (Arthur Walter) Burks, Herman Heine Goldstine, John Von
Neumann; Preliminary Discussion of the Logical Design of an Electronic
Computer Instrument; (Institute for Advanced Study, January 1, 1946)
* Goldstine, Herman H.; Goldstine, A.  (1982). "The Electronic
Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC)", The Origins of Digital
Computers: Selected Papers. New York: Springer-Verlag, 359-373. ISBN
* Goldstine, Herman H. (1980-10-01). The Computer from Pascal to von
Neumann. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-02367-0.
* Goldstine, Herman H. (1973). New and Full Moons: 1001 B.C. to A.D.
1651. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. ISBN 0-87169-094-2.
* Goldstine, Herman H. (1977). History of Numerical Analysis from the
16th Through the 19th Century (Studies in the History of Mathematics and
Physical Sciences, 2). New York: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-90277-5.
* Goldstine, Herman H. (October 1980). History of the Calculus of
Variations from the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Century (Studies
in the History of Mathematics and the Physical Sciences). New York:
Springer-Verlag. ISBN 0-387-90521-9.
* Bernoulli, Jakob; Bernoulli, Jean; Goldstine, Herman H.; P Radelet-de
Grave (September 1991). Die Streitschritfen Von Jacob Und Johann
Bernoulli: Variationsrechnung. Basel; Boston: Birkhäuser. ISBN
3-7643-2348-5, ISBN 0-8176-2348-5.
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