Computer History Museum Kicks Off First Affiliated Historian Program With IEEE Events

The Computer History Museum (CHM) today announced its inaugural Affiliated Historian Program, which connects museum members and the larger Silicon Valley community with the thinking of respected technology academics and historians. In July, Dr. Ross Bassett, an Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University, will use the museum’s extensive collection and archives as a source for his research activities and use CHM as a Silicon Valley ‘home.’

As part of his visit, Dr. Bassett will participate in two public events in July co-hosted by CHM and the IEEE Silicon Valley Chapter. The first is “The Foundation of Today’s Digital World: The Triumph of the MOS Transistor” on July 13. The second is “Before Bangalore and Silicon Valley: How Indian MIT and IIT Graduates Have Shaped Computing History” in association with TiE on July 15. Also during his visit, Dr. Bassett will meet with members of the museum’s staff and leaders of the Silicon Valley technology community.

Support for the Affiliated Historian Program
The CHM Affiliated Historian Program inaugural year was made possible by a seed grant from the IEEE Foundation http://www.ieee.org/organizations/foundation/index.html with matching funds from the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section. The Program is one of several joint initiatives between IEEE and CHM.

Dr. Bassett is the Director of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program at North Carolina State University. He is a noted author and speaks frequently on a variety of topics related to the intersections of history and technology. His book, “To the Digital Age,” recounts the story of MOS technology from its humble beginnings to its ultimate industry leadership position. He is in the process of writing another book on the history of the birth and growth of the Indian IT industry.

“The Museum celebrates the exchange of ideas, stories and technology that shaped computing, and the Affiliated Historian Program is an important way for us to strengthen this endeavor by reaching out to the academic community and distinguished scholars like Dr. Bassett,” said John Hollar, CHM President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are proud to be working with the IEEE Santa Clara Valley Chapter and the IEEE Foundation to extend CHM’s authoritative work in computing history to a wide audience this summer.”

July Affiliated Historian Program Events
“The Foundation of Today’s Digital World: The Triumph of the MOS Transistor”
July 13, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Full Abstract & Registration: http://www.computerhistory.org/events/index.php?id=1273602145

Join us for a discussion of the often-difficult path to mainstream acceptance of the MOS transistor and its lasting impact on computing and communications. Dr. Bassett will chair a conversation with three early MOS champions and semiconductor pioneers — David Hodges, Bell Labs and UC Berkeley; Dr. Lewis Terman, IBM and 2008 IEEE president; and Les Vadasz, Fairchild and Intel. Dr. Bassett authored the definitive book on the topic, “To the Digital Age, Research Labs, Start-up Companies, and the Rise of MOS Technology” from John Hopkins University Press.

“Before Bangalore and Silicon Valley: How Indian MIT and IIT Graduates Have Shaped Computing History,” July 15, 2010 at 7 p.m.
Full Abstract & Registration: http://www.computerhistory.org/events/index.php?id=1273602521

In the last 15 years, the very names Bangalore and Silicon Valley have become evocative of the important connections between India and the United States in the global IT industry. Dr. Bassett argues that the linkages between the two countries are far older and deeper than is widely known. In the course of his research, he found that Indian graduates of MIT, to a remarkable extent, significantly influenced the creation of modern technological India. The program will feature Dr. Bassett and T.M. Ravi, an IIT graduate, Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Tie member, discussing the roots of the Indian IT industry and its influence on the computing history.

About the Computer History Museum
The Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View, Calif. is a nonprofit organization with a four-decade history. The Museum is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history, and is home to the largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs and moving images.

CHM brings computer history to life through an acclaimed speaker series, dynamic website, onsite tours, as well as physical and online exhibits. Current exhibits include, “Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2,” “Mastering the Game: A History of Computer Chess,” and “Innovation in the Valley–A Look at Silicon Valley Startups.” The online exhibit, featuring the Timeline of Computer History and over 600 key objects from “Visible Storage,” is found at: www.computerhistory.org.

“Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing” will open physically and online in January 2011.

For more information and updates, call (650) 810-1059, visit www.computerhistory.org, check us out on Facebook, and follow @computerhistory on Twitter.

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