[SIGCIS-Members] Building an analog for class?/Thanks to list for prior help

David Alan Grier grier at gwu.edu
Tue May 13 19:08:31 PDT 2014

	There are a lots of analog computers that one could build  Perhaps the simplest would be to use 741 op aps to solve differential equation problems.  They are not that hard to build if you have a circuits lab and know the basic of circuit theory.  Needless to say, the IEEE has a number of articles about how to build them.  For Example there is: IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON EDUCATION, VOL. 54, NO. 4, NOVEMBER 2011 An Analog Computer for Electronic Engineering Education Andrew L. Fitch, Herbert H. C. Iu, 


David Alan Grier
Past President, IEEE Computer Society 

Center for International Science and Technology Policy 
George Washington University
grier at gwu.edu

On May 13, 2014, at 9:02 PM, Andrew Meade McGee <amm5ae at virginia.edu> wrote:

> Dear List Folks,
> First, a thanks and update. Last fall I e-mailed this list seeking input on course design for a four week computer history class and received many wonderful, instructive answers. Shortly after writing I was sidelined with some unexpected kidney surgeries and never got to respond with thanks. I'm all healed up now and am glad to report that the class is in progress and makes use of many group members' suggestions. It's going smashingly well. 
> Which leads to another call for guidance: some of my students have expressed interest in building an analog computer for their final project, and have approached me because they can't find instructions on how to do it. I've scoured the web, and while I have access to plenty of 50s- and 60s-era textbooks on principles of analog computing, I can't seem t find a simple wiring schema/set of blueprints suitable for humanities undergrads with limited workshop experience.
> Have any of you ever had students build a simple analog computer? Any suggestions on guidance or instructions or templates I might provide the eager but inexperienced students? 
> Thank you,
> Andrew
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