CSE logo University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering
 CSE P 590A: History of Computing
 Autumn 2006

Welcome to History of Computing, Autumn 2006
  University of Washington CSE P 590A
  UC Berkeley PP 190-003 / PP 290-003
  UCSD CSE 291 (D00)

  Ed Lazowska, UW Computer Science & Engineering
  Steve Maurer, UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy
  Geoff Voelker, UCSD Computer Science & Engineering

Lazowska office hours: any time, CSE 570 / 206-543-4755, by appointment, or by email
Maurer office hours: any time, 307 GSPP / 510-848-3593, by appointment, or smaurer at berkeley.edu
Voelker office hours: any time, EBU3B 3108 / 858-822-3323, by appointment, or voelker at cs.ucsd.edu
TA: Kate Deibel, UW Computer Science & Engineering, email

Thanks to our outstanding tech staff: Rod Prieto and Fred Videon (UW); Marvin Motley (marvinm at eecs.berkeley.edu) and Arthur Yeap (arty at eecs.berkeley.edu) (UC Berkeley); Steve Hopper (hopper at cse.ucsd.edu), Jing Zhu (j1zhu at cs.ucsd.edu) and Roshni Malani (rmalani at cs.ucsd.edu) (UCSD); Tim Chou (timchou at microsoft.com) and Matt McGinley (a-mattmc at microsoft.com) (MSR)

BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS, SEPTEMBER 27: Read the book A History of Modern Computing, Paul E. Ceruzzi, 2003. An electronic version of the text is available through the UW library. Do a title search for "A History of Modern Computing" here. If you are off-campus and a UW student, you might want to use the library's proxy system. The number of simultaneous users is limited -- please don't squat!

This course will provide an overview of the history of computing, from Pascal (the person, not the language!) through today. We will rely on a number of guests who will generously give us the benefit of their particular expertise. For example:

Gordon Bell (10/11) on minicomputers and DEC
Butler Lampson (10/18) on personal workstations, distributed computing, and Xerox PARC
Armando Fox (10/25) on the history of software
Steve Wozniak (11/1) on Apple and the personal computer
Burton Smith (11/8) on supercomputing
Ray Ozzie (11/15) on collaboration software
John Markoff (11/29) on 1960's cultural influences in computing
Bud Tribble (11/29) on Mac OS and leveraging open source
Christos Papadimitriou (12/6) on the mathematical origins of computing
Mike Koss (12/6) on World War II codebreaking (Mike will bring an Enigma cypher machine to class)
If you miss these presentations you'll be kicking yourself for the next three years, so be there.

The course is a 4-site distance-learning experiment involving the University of Washington, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, and Microsoft. Lead instructors will be Ed Lazowska (UW Computer Science & Engineering), Steve Maurer (UCB Goldman School of Public Policy), and Geoff Voelker (UCSD Computer Science & Engineering).

The course will meet Wednesday evenings from 6:30-9:20 (the UW classroom is CSE 305; the Berkeley classroom is Hearst Mining Building 290; the Microsoft classroom is 113/1159; the UCSD classroom is EBU3B 1202), with one or two 15-minute breaks.

The first class session will be Wednesday September 27. The final class session will be Wednesday December 6.

Course requirements will include substantial reading, active class participation (via a course Wiki, and during class sessions to the extent possible given the crufty electronic format), and a team "term paper" project due conclusion of the course.

Syllabus / Lecture Schedule / Readings here -- still in flux, expect frequent changes!

[ Announcements | Administrivia | Readings/Schedule | Lecture archive | Wiki | Projects/Papers ]




Lecture archive



Your performance in this course will be evaluated, very roughly, 25% on a "You Be The Expert" exercise, 55% on a substantial small-group "white paper" at the conclusion of the course, and 20% on class participation (for the most part, consistent substantive contributions to the Wiki).

Further information on the "You Be The Expert" exercise here.

Information on the "white paper" term project here.

Final project papers can be found here.

Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
Box 352350
Seattle, WA  98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
[comments to lazowska at cs.washington.edu]