[SIGCIS-Members] Fran Allen lecture on STRETCH / HARVEST just released

Eileen Buckholtz thequeensofcode at gmail.com
Sat Aug 15 16:57:19 PDT 2020

Dag, you have made my day releasing this Fran Allen lecture on Harvest.
For the last 2 years I have been working on the Queens of Code Project to
tell the stories of NSA's Computing Women from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  And
I wanted to include the contractors like Fran Allen and Ann Hardy who
worked on Harvest and other agency systems as well as our own NSA women.
So thank you!

Eileen Buckholtz
Queens of Code Project

On Sat, Aug 15, 2020 at 6:42 PM Dag Spicer <dspicer at computerhistory.org>

> Hi everyone,
> Here is a great lecture from the Computer History Museum archives — just
> released — with Fran Allen discussing the Stretch/Harvest compiler at the
> Museum, November 8, 2000, on the occasion of her being made a CHM Fellow.
> She won the ACM Turing Award in 2006.
> Enjoy!
> https://youtu.be/BD035veZd-E
> Synopsis:
> In response to government requests, IBM Research designed a system for a
> very large data processing application, known as the HARVEST system, based
> on the Stretch supercomputer (IBM 7030), which was delivered to the
> National Security Agency in the early 1960s. The combined Stretch-HARVEST
> Project created a milieu for developing new technologies, new hardware
> architectures, and new software to meet the challenges of both systems. One
> of the guiding principles of the project was to make programming easier by
> the use of a compiler to generate code automatically from statements in the
> user's language.
> Frances "Fran" Allen was a member of the ALPHA language design team which
> created a very high level language featuring, among other things, the
> ability to create new alphabets beyond the system defined alphabets (e.g.
> English, decimal, integer, binary) and treat complex, heterogeneous data in
> high-level statements. In addition to an overview of Stretch-HARVEST, the
> talk will describe some of the lesser known aspects of the project the
> people and institutions involved, the political climate, and the shared
> knowledge, views, and value systems which were part of this interesting
> project at an interesting time in the history of computing.
> Catalog number: 102621818
> Lot number: X4835.2009
> Dag
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