This Day in History
October 4, 1903
Computer Pioneer Atanasoff is Born
John Vincent Atanasoff was born in Hamilton, N.Y. As a math and physics professor at Iowa State University in the 1930s, he developed the idea for a calculating machine that would use binary arithmetic and electronic switching devices. He recruited a doctoral student, Clifford Berry, and together they built the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. The two innovators were only recognized much later for their work, which preceded John Mauchly’s better-publicized construction of the ENIAC. Atanasoff died on June 15, 1995.