[SIGCIS-Members] Origin of the word "throughput"

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Tue Jan 3 13:56:43 PST 2012

Not sure if this helps but I can establish a baseline for the term. In the "Computer Dictionary and Handbook" published by Howard Sams in 1966, Charles J. Sippl defines "throughput" as "The productivity based on all aspects of an operation, e.g. a computer with a capability of simultaneous operations of read/write/compute would have a high throughput rating." 

Paul E. Ceruzzi
Chair, Division of Space History
National Air & Space Museum
MRC 311; PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

-----Original Message-----
From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Lambert, Kevin
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 2:30 PM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Origin of the word "throughput"

Dear all,

My name is Kevin Lambert, an historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century
physic-mathematics with an interest in the history of the computer and
someone who very much appreciates your exchanges.  I have recently had the
following inquiry (see below) directed my way.  Can anybody help?

Prof. Lambert,
> I am a contributing editor at Popular Science, and I am working on a feature
> for the magazine for which I'm trying to find the origin of the term "high
> throughput."  Andy Jewett at Harvard (who was my advisor for my MA thesis at
> NYU a few years ago) suggested I contact you.
> I have asked a few bioinformatics people where "high throughput" comes from,
> because the first time I learned about it was through genomics and drug
> discovery.  They couldn't answer.  I am now wondering if it is a computing
> term-- I know that "high throughput computing" exists-- that was adapted for
> biology.  Andy suggested I check with you on the computing connection.
> Any ideas on the origin of this term?  If not, any suggestions on who might
> know?  I've run multiple book/journal article searches and haven't come up
> with anything useful.
> I realize this is very short notice right before the holidays, but if you have
> time to respond sometime tomorrow or by early next week, I'd be very grateful.
> If you'd like to learn more about my project, I'm happy to explain on the
> phone.
> Thanks very much,
> Brooke
> -- 
> ___________________
> Brooke Borel
> www.brookeborel.com <http://www.brookeborel.com>
> (001) 646.262.4346 <tel:646.262.4346>
twitter: @brookeborel

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