[SIGCIS-Members] Oggetto: Priority controversies in computer science

Nathan Ensmenger nensmeng at indiana.edu
Wed Mar 12 05:34:44 PDT 2014

> Da: Giuditta Parolini <giudittaparolini at gmail.com>
> I would also appreciate very much if you could give me references of articles or books in which it is spelled out clearly why priority controversies are detrimental in understanding the history of computer development.

Guiditta —

On the question of “firsts” and why the attempt to define them can be counter-productive:  Michael Williams has a nice introductory essay on this topic in the volume edited by Raul Rojas and Ulf Hashagen entitled *The First Computers.* As he argues in reference to the debate about the first electronic digital programmable computers, if you add enough adjectives to a description you can always claim priority for your own favorite. 


Nathan Ensmenger
Associate Professor of Informatics
School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University, Bloomington

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