The History of Computing in America

History 103D.003

Fall 2017
Section: 
3
Instructor: 
Location: 
2303 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
F 10-12
Class Number: 
44827
Units: 
4

This course will provide a broad historical foundation for the emergence of computers as a technology and as a symbol of contemporary life. We will examine the intellectual and technical origins of the first computers, the development of the computer industry, the role of military in technical innovation, hacker cultures, and Silicon Valley as a place. We will probably also consider the emergence of the internet and Artificial Intelligence. Our goal will be to arrive at a clearer and less mystified sense of why this powerful, albeit limited machine has come to play such an outsized role in our perception of our society, ourselves, and our collective future.