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Pioneers of information science. Their biographies in interviews. (Pioniere der Informatik. Ihre Lebensgeschichte im Interview. Interviews mit F. L. Bauer, C. Floyd, J. Weizenbaum, N. Wirth und H. Zemanek. Geleitwort von Wilfried Brauer.) (German) Zbl 0914.01013
Berlin: Springer. xiii, 143 p. (1999).
This collection of interviews with five German-speaking leaders in computer science provides information about the development of the field in Europe and the USA mainly in the 1950s and early 1960s. The interviews are open ended and unstructured but each provides basic information about education and early influences. The pioneers all have ties to the USA and thus their stories reflect the many forms of mutual interaction between that country and Germany in the field of computers. The two generations of interviewees are presented in order of year of birth: Heinz Zemanek (1920), Joseph Weizenbaum (1923), Friedrich L. Bauer (1924), Niklaus Wirth (1934), and Christiane Floyd (1943). Perhaps the fullest, most informative interviews are with Bauer and Zemanek, who both worked with Zuse, and they especially demonstrate how reliant on pure chance the beginnings of the field were. The other interviews provide useful information but are less oriented to the development of the field as a whole. Each interview is accompanied by a photographic portrait and followed by a page or two of helpful data: a chronology, list of selected publications, and honors. Unfortunately there is no index.
MSC:
01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
68-03 History of computer science
01-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to history and biography
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