Electronic Computation: Past, Present, Potential

by Elwyn H. King,


Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1966, Vol. 92, Issue 6, Pg. 3-24


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: A short history of electronic computation is given, with particular attention paid to the ASCE Structural Division's three previous Conferences on Electronic Computation. The extent and type of usage now (1966) prevalent are examined in detail. It is shown that the great majority of the larger design firms now use computers, that the procedural languages are universally used, and that many firms limit activity to purchasing results of service bureau programs. A list of the most widely used programs is given. Specific examples of practice by various firms are provided. These include staff size design programs, use of hardcopy in contract plans, optimization, and effect on personnel requirements of growing firms. There is an examination of problem-oriented languages and optimization routines. The potential of the near future also is examined, with emphasis on the changes brought about by reliable long distance data transmission and multiprogramming facilities. The use of graphic display and the economy, availability, and usefulness of time-sharing for all sizes of firms is investigated.

Subject Headings: History | Computer software | Computer languages | Contracts | Power transmission | Graphic methods

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