I am a Professor of Radiology at The University of Iowa, a physician who is a pediatric radiologist, and a researcher in the field of educational informatics.
To provide an introduction to the history of computing and to explore the questions 1) What is the history of computing? 2) What is the future of computing? and 3) What lessons can we learn from computing's past that will help guide us in determining computing's future?
In its current form, Computer Histories is presented as a lecture curriculum for a university course that is an introduction to the history of computing that will challenge you to think about these questions. I currently teach such a course, in a first-year seminar format. Computer Histories can easily be adapted to other classroom formats, and even more importantly it can easily be used by individuals for self-study.
Computer Histories was begun in 2013 and is a work in progress.
I read on a daily basis a number of articles broadly related to the field of computer history. Additionally I read on a regular basis a number of journals and books broadly related to computer history. The most interesting information I learn from all this reading gets distilled into Computer Histories. The first version of Computer Histories was completed in 2013. Since then it has been under continuous refinement and expansion. I add on the average 1 slide to it per week.
I intend to hold myself to releasing updates on a yearly basis, near the start of the year.
If you would like to be put on a mailing list to be told when Computer Histories is updated, please contact me through the Comment Form.
This is a fortuitous time to study computer history as computers influence nearly every aspect of our lives today. By the end of the course you will be equipped with an intellectual toolkit for the lifelong multi-disciplinary study of computing enabling you to undertake meaningful discussion and debate as computing plays an ever more crucial role in our society and our lives.
If people find it useful and learn from it, I consider Computer Histories a success and my way of making the world a slightly more informed and better place.
I am what Charles Leadbeater, in his book "We Think: Why Mass Creativity is the Next Big Thing" would call a Pro-Am: a dedicated, educated and well equipped amateur who engages in an activity for the love of it, but performs to very high standards. Note that I bring an amateur's - rather than a professional's - view to this work, which means I do it for love, rather than for money.
Additionally, in regards to theories of learning, I am by nature a constructionist, and Computer Histories is the learning artifact I have constructed in the course of my daily readings on computer history. It is an example of situated learning, of a currriculum unfolding in practice.
Computer Histories is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
I reserve the right to the "Computer Histories" trademark and I reserve the right to publish it in book form someday.
If you adapt Computer Histories for other educational purposes under the Creative Commons license, please provide me with a copy so I may make it available here for others to use.
Use the Comment Form to contact me.
If you use Computer Histories to teach a course, I would love to learn of your experiences through the Comment Form.
If you use Computer Histories for self study, I would love to learn of your experiences through the Comment Form.
Computer Histories is owned by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and made available made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The ComputerHistories.org digital library is copyright @ Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. All rights reserved
"Computer Histories," "ComputerHistories.org," and the ComputerHistories.org logo are Trademarks of Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Computer Histories and ComputerHistories.org are funded in whole by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.
January 1, 2021
Computer Histories provides you with an introductory course on the history of computing.