The University Record, April 22, 1997

Spring issue of MQR features look at history of the computer

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

Professor emeritus Arthur W. Burks, who helped design and build one of the world's first electronic computers, gives a first-hand account of who really invented the precursor of today's personal computers in the spring issue of the Michigan Quarterly Review.

In their essay "Who Invented the Computer? A Memoir of the 1940s," Burks, who taught philosophy and computer science at the U-M for some 40 years, and his wife, Alice, a computer historian and former U-M researcher, reaffirm their view that the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), which Burks helped develop, was not the world's first electronic computer as once was commonly thought.

In addition to the Burks piece, the spring issue of MQR features history Prof. Geoff Eley's "Judeocide and German History," a review of Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Also, author and alumna Nancy Willard contributes the essay "A Writer's Ark."

Others whose works appear in the spring issue include Burton Bradley, Nicholas Christopher, Nancy Eimers, Beth Ann Fennelly, Stephanie Kiceluk, Marilyn Krysl, Richard A. Lanham, Sharon Olds, Sarah Ruden, Thomas Scanlon, Lisa Sewell, Paul C. Taylor, Alexander Theroux and Charlotte Warren.

Published by the U-M, MQR contains essays, poetry, fiction, memoirs, reviews and graphics by well-known writers and scholars. The spring issue is available in local bookstores and in the MQR office, Room 3032, Rackham Building. For information, call 764-9265 or consult the MQR website at