[SIGCIS-Members] petroleum and computers

Coopersmith, Jonathan j-coopersmith at neo.tamu.edu
Mon Sep 13 20:27:58 PDT 2010

  The oil industry has been instrumental in advancing 4-d imaging which is real heavy data crunching.  I can't give you specifics, but I would not be surprised that it was the largest user in the pre-Google era.  I know (and can give a secondary cite) that in the 1970s the oil industry used encryption to fax logging data from ships and rigs to research labs and their computers.  


----- Original Message -----
From: Deborah Douglas <ddouglas at MIT.EDU>
To: members at sigcis.org
Sent: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 17:47:25 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] petroleum and computers


Recently, I received a question about a claim that the petroleum- 
seeking geophysics industry was once the greatest consumer of  
computers, only surpassed at some later point by the federal  
government.  No citation was given and there is quite a bit of  
skepticism but where would you advise us to look to refute this claim  
(or perhaps my own aerospace bias is too strong and the claim is true!).


Debbie Douglas

Deborah G. Douglas, Ph.D.
Curator of Science and Technology
MIT Museum, N51-209
265 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
ddouglas at mit.edu •  617-253-1766 phone  •  617-253-8994 fax

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Jonathan CoopersmithAssociate Professor    Department of History   Texas A&M University  College Station, TX  77843-4326 979.845.8584     979.862.4314 fax   http://aggiegaijin.blogspot.com/    Secretary   Section L, History & Philosophy of ScienceAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)www.aaas.org

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