I. Bernard Cohen

  • Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy

    Isaac Newton's Natural Philosophy

    Jed Z. Buchwald and I. Bernard Cohen

    Newton studies have undergone radical changes in the last half-century as more of his work has been uncovered and more details of his life and intellectual context have come to light. This volume singles out two strands in recent Newton studies: the intellectual background to Newton's scientific thought and both specific and general aspects of his technical science. The essays make new claims concerning Newton's mathematical methods, experimental investigations, and motivations, as well as the effect that his long presence had on science in England.

    The book is divided into two parts. The essays in part I shed new light on Newton's motivations and the sources of his method. The essays in part II explore Newton's mathematical philosophy and his development of rational mechanics and celestial dynamics. An appendix includes the last paper by Newton biographer Richard W. Westfall, examining some of the ways that mathematics came to be used in the age of Newton in pursuits and domains other than theoretical or rational mechanics.

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Howard Aiken

    Howard Aiken

    Portrait of a Computer Pioneer

    I. Bernard Cohen

    Biography of Howard Aiken, a major figure of the early digital era, by a major historian of science who was also a colleague of Aiken's at Harvard.

    Howard Hathaway Aiken (1900-1973) was a major figure of the early digital era. He is best known for his first machine, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator or Harvard Mark I, conceived in 1937 and put into operation in 1944. But he also made significant contributions to the development of applications for the new machines and to the creation of a university curriculum for computer science.

    This biography of Aiken, by a major historian of science who was also a colleague of Aiken's at Harvard, offers a clear and often entertaining introduction to Aiken and his times. Aiken's Mark I was the most intensely used of the early large-scale, general-purpose automatic digital computers, and it had a significant impact on the machines that followed. Aiken also proselytized for the computer among scientists, scholars, and businesspeople and explored novel applications in data processing, automatic billing, and production control. But his most lasting contribution may have been the students who received degrees under him and then took prominent positions in academia and industry. I. Bernard Cohen argues convincingly for Aiken's significance as a shaper of the computer world in which we now live.

    • Hardcover $60.00
    • Paperback $30.00
  • Makin' Numbers

    Makin' Numbers

    Howard Aiken and the Computer

    I. Bernard Cohen and Gregory W. Welch

    With the cooperation of Robert V. D. Campbell. This collection of technical essays and reminiscences is a companion volume to I. Bernard Cohen's biography, Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer. After an overview by Cohen, Part I presents the first complete publication of Aiken's 1937 proposal for an automatic calculating machine, which was later realized as the Mark I, as well as recollections of Aiken's first two machines by the chief engineer in charge of construction of Mark II, Robert Campbell, and the principal programmer of Mark I, Richard Bloch. Henry Tropp describes Aiken's hostility to the exclusive use of binary numbers in computational systems and his alternative approach. Part II contains essays on Aiken's administrative and teaching styles by former students Frederick Brooks and Peter Calingaert and an essay by Gregory Welch on the difficulties Aiken faced in establishing a computer science program at Harvard. Part III contains recollections by people who worked or studied with Aiken, including Richard Bloch, Grace Hopper, Anthony Oettinger, and Maurice Wilkes. Henry Tropp provides excerpts from an interview conducted just before Aiken's death. Part IV gathers the most significant of Aiken's own writings. The appendixes give the specs of Aiken's machines and list his doctoral students and the topics of their dissertations.

    • Hardcover $48.00
    • Paperback $25.00
  • Interactions

    Interactions

    Some Contacts between the Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences

    I. Bernard Cohen

    One of the fruits of the Scientific Revolution was the idea of a social science that would operate in ways comparable to the newly triumphant natural sciences. Thus was set in motion a long and often convoluted chain of two-way interactions that still have implications for both scholarship and public policy. This book, by the dean of American historians of science, offers an excellent historical perspective on these interactions.

    One of the fruits of the Scientific Revolution was the idea of a social science—a science of government, of individual behavior, and of society—that would operate in ways comparable to the newly triumphant natural sciences. Thus was set in motion a long and often convoluted chain of two-way interactions that still have implications for both scholarship and public policy. This book, by the dean of American historians of science, offers an excellent historical perspective on these interactions.

    The core of the book consists of two long essays. The first focuses on the role of analogies as linking factors between the two realms. Examples are drawn from the physics of rational mechanics and energy physics (in relation to marginalist or neoclassical economics) and from the biology of the cell theory (in relation to nineteenth-century sociology). The second essay looks closely at the relations between the natural and the social sciences in the period of the Scientific Revolution.

    The book also includes a record of a series of conversations between the author and Harvey Brooks (Professor of Technology and Public Policy Emeritus at Harvard) that addresses the present-day public policy implications of the historical interactions between the natural and the social sciences. A short but illuminating history of the terms "natural science" and "social science" concludes the book.

    • Hardcover $38.50
    • Paperback $25.00

Contributor

  • A Manual of Operation for the Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator

    A Manual of Operation for the Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator

    Harvard Computation Laboratory

    If the Mark I itself was a milestone in digital computing, so was this Manual: it was one of the first publications to address the fundamental question of how to get a computer to solve problems.

    In the summer of 1944, at a dedication ceremony at Harvard's Cruft Laboratory, one of the world's first automatic digital calculating machines was unveiled to the public. The machine was the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, more commonly known as the Harvard Mark I. The staff of the Harvard Computation Laboratory was unprepared for the interest which news of the machine's dedication touched off, and in response to many inquiries they arranged for the publication of this Manual of Operation. If the Mark I itself was a milestone in digital computing, so was this Manual: it was one of the first publications to address the fundamental question of how to get a computer to solve problems. Scattered throughout the book are listings of operation codes that represent sequences of operations the Mark I would carry out: these are among the first examples anywhere of what are now called computer programs. Both this Manual of Operation and the computer it describes reveal the profound transition from an age when computing was something human beings did, with varying degrees of mechanical aids, to one where machines themselves do most of the work. A Manual of Operation for the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator was originally published in 1946 by Harvard University Press. It is Volume VII in the Charles babbage Institute reprint series.

    • Hardcover $95.00
    • Paperback $69.00