Forrester, Jay Wright

born July 14, 1918, Anselmo, Neb., U.S.

U.S. electrical engineer and management expert.

He taught and conducted research at MIT, where in 1945 he founded the Digital Computer Laboratory. There he invented the magnetic core random-access memory (RAM) used in digital computers for information storage. At MIT's Sloan School of Management (from 1956), he applied computer simulation to real-world relationships, such as the flow of materials in a factory, by feeding a series of interconnected equations to a computer.

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▪ American engineer
born July 14, 1918, Anselmo, Neb., U.S.

      American electrical engineer and management expert who invented the random-access magnetic core memory, the information-storage device employed in most digital computers. (digital computer)

      Forrester was educated in electrical engineering at the University of Nebraska (Nebraska, University of), Lincoln, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where he remained to teach and do research. In 1945 he founded the Digital Computer Laboratory there and participated in the construction of Whirlwind I, an early general-purpose digital computer designed for the U.S. Navy. During the course of this work, he realized that the slow and unreliable information-storage systems of early digital computers hindered their further development. In 1949 Forrester devised a memory system that stored information in three dimensions; in his invention a magnetic cell was employed for both storage and switching.

      From 1951 until 1956, Forrester was associated with the Lincoln Laboratory, operated by MIT in Lexington, Mass., for the federal government to apply electronic technology to problems of national defense. In particular, Forrester, together with his Lincoln Laboratory colleague George Valley, came up with the plan for the U.S. Air Force's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense computer system, which was developed from the Whirlwind prototype in cooperation with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM (International Business Machines Corporation)), Burroughs Corporation (later merged into the Unisys Corporation), Western Electric Company, Inc. (Western Electric Company Inc.), and other subcontractors. SAGE included 23 Direction Centers in the United States and 1 in Canada, with each of these radar and missile installations being controlled by its own computer, though all the computers were in continual contact with each other for data exchange and analysis. Partially operational by 1958 and fully operational in 1963, SAGE was the brains behind the American air defense system into the 1980s.

      Forrester was led to experiment with the application of computers to management problems. In time he devised the technique of computer simulation in which real-world relationships, such as the flow of materials in a factory, are represented as a series of interconnected mathematical equations that can be fed to the computer. He is thus often credited as being the father of systems dynamics, essentially the application of techniques used in systems engineering to nonengineering problems. As a professor in MIT's Sloan School of Management, from 1956, Forrester wrote several books about systems dynamics, including Industrial Dynamics (1961), Principles of Systems (1968), Urban Dynamics (1969), and World Dynamics (1971). His Collected Papers appeared in 1975.

      In 1982 Forrester was honoured by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as a Computer Pioneer Charter Recipient. He was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 1989, the year that he retired.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Forrester, Jay Wright — SUBJECT AREA: Electronics and information technology [br] b. 14 July 1918 Anselmo, Nebraska, USA [br] American electrical engineer and management expert who invented the magnetic core random access memory used in most early digital computers.… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Forrester, Jay Wright — (n. 14 jul. 1918, Anselmo, Neb., EE.UU.). Ingeniero eléctrico y experto en administración estadounidense. Enseñó y condujo investigaciones en el MIT, donde en 1945 fundó el Laboratorio de computación digital. Ahí inventó la memoria de acceso… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jay Wright Forrester — (né le 14 juillet 1918, Climax, Nebraska) est un pionnier américain en informatique et un théoricien des systèmes. Né dans une ferme près d’Anselmo, Nebraska, Forrester étudie l’électrotechnique au Massachusetts Institute of Technology où il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jay Wright Forrester — (* 14. Juli 1918 in Climax, Nebraska) ist ein Pionier der Computertechnik und der Systemdynamik. Biographie Forrester wurde als Sohn eines Lehrerehepaars geboren, das als Viehzüchter auf einer einsamen Farm lebte. Schon mit 9 Jahren führte er… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jay Wright Forrester — Infobox Scientist name = Jay Forrester image size = caption = birth date = Birth date and age|1918|7|14|df=y birth place = Climax, Nebraska death date = death place = occupation = spouse = awards = IEEE Medal of HonorJay Wright Forrester (born 14 …   Wikipedia

  • Jay Wright Forrester — …   Википедия

  • Jay Forrester — Jay Wright Forrester Jay Wright Forrester (né le 14 juillet 1918, Climax, Nebraska) est un pionnier américain en informatique et un théoricien des systèmes. Né dans une ferme près d’Anselmo, Nebraska, Forrester étudie l’électrotechnique au… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jay W. Forrester — Jay Wright Forrester Jay Wright Forrester (né le 14 juillet 1918, Climax, Nebraska) est un pionnier américain en informatique et un théoricien des systèmes. Né dans une ferme près d’Anselmo, Nebraska, Forrester étudie l’électrotechnique au… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jay — /jay/, n. 1. John, 1745 1829, U.S. statesman and jurist: first Chief Justice of the U.S. 1789 95. 2. a male given name. * * * I Any of 35–40 bird species (family Corvidae) that inhabit woodlands and are known for their bold, raucous manner. Most… …   Universalium

  • Wright — Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Wright, Wilbur * * * (as used in expressions) Forrester, Jay Wright Mills, C(harles) Wright Archibald Lee Wright Thomas Wright Waller Wright, Frances Fanny Wright Wright, Frank Lloyd …   Enciclopedia Universal

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