History of Computing in Cincinnati
through the Eyes of Diversity
Russ McMahon (noPhD)
Associate Professor
School of Inform...
Cincinnati’s First Computer Nerd
• In 1942 Viola Woodward graduated from UC. She then joined the Navy until
the end of the...
The grandfather of ET
• In 1934 Arnold Spielberg graduated from
Hughes High School hoping to be an
engineer. But that was ...
From minor planets to Pringles
• Paul Herget obtained his undergraduate degree from UC in 1931 in
mathematics and his PhD ...
Medical Computing
• In 1959 Ted Sterling began to hire high school students to become
programmers developing statistical r...
Humberto Oritz-Zuazaga
• 1994 - BS CS UC
– Took a course in Pascal
• Prior to that he was majoring in chemistry, but start...
Troy Robinson
• Cincom 1978 – 2008
– Education Manager of Instructors
– Project Supervisor (CBT)
– Marketing Technical Rep...
Henry Brasey
• Withrow grad (wife later taught there)
• Started out at Shillito’s
• Worked for City – Police Dept
• Went t...
Robyn Render
• UC’s first African-American Director of UC’s Center for IT Services
• Walnut Hills grad & UC Evening Colleg...
Juan Gilbert
• Hamilton High grad
• 1991 – BS Systems Analysis from Miami
– Started in Chemistry
– Dr. David Haddad encour...
Darius Howard
• Winton Woods grad -- ran cross country/track and played
soccer
• Originally wanted to study Graphic Design...
Jasmine Hix
• Hughes High School for Teaching and Technology
• Information Technology was her third major at UC
• Involved...
William Letcher
• Represents all of those who have a dream, but never got a chance to make a
make it a reality
• He just w...
Everything begins with a dream
• Dream + Commit + Work  Achieve
• Some dreams are easily achieved while others always
rem...
Thank
you
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Handout: 'History of Computing in Cincinnati'

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This presentation is based upon research that was done concerning the history of computing at the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati region. It will cover the history of computing through a different set of eyes and it will examine the multiplicity of backgrounds within the computer field then and today. Some of the men and women past and present from this region will be highlighted along with their accomplishments. The presentation is intended for those who are interested learning about the achievements of those persons who faced challenges due to their ethnicity, gender, handicap, or some other form of discrimination that come from the Greater Cincinnati area in the field of information technology and computing.

Our guest speaker, Russ McMahon, has been teaching IT related subject matter for more than 30 years.

He has been teaching full-time at UC for 14 years and helped create the Information Technology Bachelor of Science (BSIT) degree which started in 2004 and is one of two programs in Ohio that is ABET accredited. He teaches computer programming, database administration, business intelligence, and IT security. He is an IT user group evangelist and helped create TechLife Cincinnati which is for those who have an interest in what is going on in the local IT scene. He enjoys studying the history of science and technology. Prior to coming to UC, he taught at several local high schools (Hughes, Lockland, Colerain), as well as a couple of local companies (Cincom & CG&E).

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Handout: 'History of Computing in Cincinnati'

  1. 1. History of Computing in Cincinnati through the Eyes of Diversity Russ McMahon (noPhD) Associate Professor School of Information Technology College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services University of Cincinnati russ.mcmahon@uc.edu This talk is based upon research that began in 2005 and will in no way cover the wealth of material and stories that I have collected. (280 people were interviewed and/or researched - another 300 persons were identified as being of interest) I am a life-long learner. I have a love of history especially in the science and technical areas. I find stories about people, their struggles and their flaws, to be most interesting. I have been blessed to have met many of these persons who helped enrich our lives through their hard work in the computing field.
  2. 2. Cincinnati’s First Computer Nerd • In 1942 Viola Woodward graduated from UC. She then joined the Navy until the end of the war. She completed her masters in mathematics from Stanford University in 1948. • She took a job with the US Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, MD where the ENIAC had been moved. She became part of the second wave of women programmers to work on the ENIAC and she met John William ‘Bill’ Mauchly on several occasions. • Worked on the ENIAC, the EDVAC, the ORDVAC, and the BRLESC. • Later she became the section head for the Army’s ORDVAC computer.
  3. 3. The grandfather of ET • In 1934 Arnold Spielberg graduated from Hughes High School hoping to be an engineer. But that was to be put on hold because of the depression and WWII. • I945 – 1949 UC; earned BS in electrical engineering • Senior project with Henry Federlin (WPAFB, NCR, GE, RCA, FAA) • 1950 - he took a job with RCA where he developed the first computerized point-of- sale system and was awarded the IEEE Computing Pioneer Award in 2006 for this work. • GE Computer Department Alumni Association • 1st computing in this area – 1953 at GE - IBM 701 – No 6/19
  4. 4. From minor planets to Pringles • Paul Herget obtained his undergraduate degree from UC in 1931 in mathematics and his PhD in 1935. • He was born in Fairview; lived in Oakley; grad Withrow HS – Math teacher – Helen Swineford had a big influence on him • In the 1950s, he began to use computers for his calculations of the minor planets. • In 1957 Dr. Herget obtained funding from the NSF and Cincinnati Gas & Electric to obtain UC’s first computer. • Other achievements : helped  in reducing Allied shipping loses, calculate Sputnik’s orbit (computernik, beatnik …), helped design Pringles UC’s first computer was an IBM-650 and was placed in Swift Hall and later the Physics building. The first 2 years lease were paid for through grants from CG&E (Duke) and the NSF. A recognition ceremony will be held June 3, 2008. In 1949 the Observatory was the home to an IBM-602 Calculating Punch – Mayo Lewis, a coop, wrote a detailed report about the equipment used. Jan 30, 1908 Aug 26, 1981 Next to Dr. Herget (left) is David Levinson
  5. 5. Medical Computing • In 1959 Ted Sterling began to hire high school students to become programmers developing statistical routines. – In 1940, at age 17, his family fled to the US, leaving their home in Vienna • In 1964 the Medical Computing Center developed a program to teach the visually impaired how to program computers. – 12 students were originally enrolled. – 1st formal programming course for the blind/visual imparied in the country – Michael Lichstein – his early work helped perfect a Braille printing system – Jim Henry - West Hi – BS Math - cerebral palsy (Martha Burks) – Helen Mueller was one of the instructors – Dean Wilbur
  6. 6. Humberto Oritz-Zuazaga • 1994 - BS CS UC – Took a course in Pascal • Prior to that he was majoring in chemistry, but started doing computer technical support instead • Lived in Cincinnati for 5 years • Wife was working on her PhD at UC • Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus (2008) • Describes himself as Programmer-Archaeologist – Did some code ports of older code to more recent platforms using open source tools • Thesis work is on the analysis of cDNA expression using microarrays • Bio-Informatics
  7. 7. Troy Robinson • Cincom 1978 – 2008 – Education Manager of Instructors – Project Supervisor (CBT) – Marketing Technical Representative – Senior Marketing Specialist – Senior Industry Consulltant – Lead Instructional Design Engineer • DLA Systems Automation Center, Columbus – Computer Specialist Instructor • Borden, Inc. Columbus – Operations Control Specialists – Programmer/Analyst • MANTIS, SQL, COBOL, ALC, MARK IV, RPGII and PL/1; IBM & DEC platforms • I took a JC-Hell class from Troy while at Cincom • Respected leader with a reputation for reliability, integrity, follow-through and commitment to customer service. Articulate communicator experienced in forming solid business relationships across all levels of the organizations.
  8. 8. Henry Brasey • Withrow grad (wife later taught there) • Started out at Shillito’s • Worked for City – Police Dept • Went to Evening College – Associates & BS • Learned to program on his own • 1975 - Assistant Director of Services/Operations – SWORCC • 1996 – Director of Academic IT Services – 60 students; 7 days/week • Adjunct Associate Professor in the College of Engineering – FORTRAN • Medical computing • BDPA • Cybercamp – UC and H – CCA BOE • Tony Yates Junior Golf Acad • The National Bowling Assoc
  9. 9. Robyn Render • UC’s first African-American Director of UC’s Center for IT Services • Walnut Hills grad & UC Evening College • 1992 -- Assistant VP & Director, Center for IT Services • 1986 – Director UC’s Administrative Information Services • 2000 – UNC Assoc VP for Information Resources • 2001 – UNC VP for Information Resources and CIO • MCNC Robyn Render Endeavor Award • The Robyn Render Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund • 2009 - Vice chancellor for IT for the Nevada System of Higher Education Robyn was the keynote speaker the UC’s ‘50 Years of Computing’ Conference held in 2008
  10. 10. Juan Gilbert • Hamilton High grad • 1991 – BS Systems Analysis from Miami – Started in Chemistry – Dr. David Haddad encouraged him to get his PhD • Worked at NCR & took evening classes at UC • 1995 – MS CS • Started at OSU in HCI, but transferred to UC in 1997 – Dr. Andrea Lawrence, Spelman College • Winner of the 2014 SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service to Computer Science Education – Dr. Carla Purdy, UC – Dr. Chia Han, UC • In June 2001 - the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Cincinnati • Auburn University  Clemson University • Presidential Endowed Chair in Computing & he is the Chair of the Human- Centered Computing Division • 2011 - Received Presidential Mentoring Honor
  11. 11. Darius Howard • Winton Woods grad -- ran cross country/track and played soccer • Originally wanted to study Graphic Design in DAAP • Found the Information Technology program • Cooped at Medplus, Cincinnati Bengals, SIT IT Solution Center • Dream job - Cincinnati Bengals – Manager of their web site & does graphic design • UC Activities – Ran varsity track for four years, placing third in the 4x1 relay in 2012. – VP - Information Technology Student Association – Webmaster of ADVANCE – Member Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. • Senior Capstone Project – Dealership Logic • Cousin – Juan Gilbert
  12. 12. Jasmine Hix • Hughes High School for Teaching and Technology • Information Technology was her third major at UC • Involved with ITSA and WIT • Coop-ed - Chiquita Brands and Cast-Fab Technologies • Final coop in Singapore during the summer with a small company called VEEV Interactive • Volunteer: – Teaching English classes to immigrants downtown – At the Cincinnati Computer Cooperative every Wed • Study abroad in India last spring, which was my first time on a plane, visiting several different cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, Agra and Goa – She also has been to Japan and Malaysia • Has learned lot about other cultures and has gotten her interested in more service opportunities abroad • Senior Capstone Project – App Security Training for AMIG
  13. 13. William Letcher • Represents all of those who have a dream, but never got a chance to make a make it a reality • He just wanted to work in the IT field because he found it interesting. • Jan 2001 he started taking classes at UC and had taken classes from Cin State • I met him sometime in the Winter-2004 qtr. He came to my office looking for someone to advise him on what courses he needed to take in order to finish up his degree. I was working late that day. • He was from the former CECE (Evening College) in the BAGS-IT program and the College of Applied Science had recently taken over that program. • He was Vietnam vet. • As I was talking to him he informed that he had cancer and not long to live, but as long as he was alive he was going to work toward his dream of getting a BS in IT. He and I talked no more than 25 minutes. • He told me it was his dream to complete his degree • A couple of months later his wife called and left a message on my phone that he had passed away. He was 56. • He had 8 more classes left .
  14. 14. Everything begins with a dream • Dream + Commit + Work  Achieve • Some dreams are easily achieved while others always remain elusive. • Many dreams have walls that block you from achieving them either temporarily, partially, or permanently. • Some walls – are low enough that you can climb over them. – are short enough that you can walk around them. – are actually imaginary, but appear to be all too real. – have windows that you can only look through knowing that you are unable to get to the other side at this point in time or even ever. – have doors that will lead to a whole new and unimagined opportunity. • Never stop dreaming.
  15. 15. Thank you
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