[SIGCIS-Members] Diagrammatic models of human computing

Bjorn Westergard bjornw at gmail.com
Sat Apr 18 14:58:50 PDT 2015

There was some chatter about this during the Dearborn conference.

I'm struggling to recall where, but I've seen some "flowcharts" for semi-automatic computation with single-operation IBM machines. Flowcharts have a longer history in industrial engineering, which is a tantalizing connection to labor history labor process theory.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 18, 2015, at 5:34 PM, Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com> wrote:
> I recently listened to a podcast on Pickering's human-intensive computing
> for processing astronomical data. Here is a wiki page that contains an overview and
> photograph from 1890:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Computers
> I am seeking diagrammatic workflow models of the types of computation that occurred
> under Pickering's direction, but more generally, any articles or texts that contain such
> diagrams for human computing.  I am familiar with modern formalisms such as 
> BPMN: http://www.bpmn.org/ in which business workflows might be formalized. I also have 
> read Grier's excellent book:
> http://www.amazon.com/When-Computers-Human-David-Grier/dp/0691091579/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429392009&sr=8-1&keywords=when+computers+were+human
> The history and cultural context is interesting to me, and most appropriate for engaging
> readers, however, the main end-point in this story-telling process, for me, is for people to 
> appreciate the path toward the diagrammatic formalisms with their nodes, merges, branches, and
> connections.
> If I need to, I can embark on a path toward creating some models with the written historical 
> accounts as a guide, but I thought that checking here would be the best starting location in this 
> quest for diagrammatic evidence.
> -paul
> Paul Fishwick, PhD
> Distinguished University Chair of Arts & Technology 
>    and Professor of Computer Science
> Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
> The University of Texas at Dallas
> Arts & Technology
> 800 West Campbell Road, AT10
> Richardson, TX 75080-3021
> Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
> Lab Blog: creative-automata.com
> SIGSIM Blog: modelingforeveryone.com
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