Creators' Forums


Harry Bates Th'79 designs an electrical punch-card machine for the 1890 United States Census. He goes on to found the Tabulating Machine Company, which evolves into I.B.M.


Bell Laboratories mathematician George Stibitz conducts the first public demonstration of remote computing. He connects a terminal at Dartmouth to his headquarters' "automatic calculator" in New York.


The term "artificial intelligence" is coined by Dartmouth mathematician John McCarthy.


Dartmouth gets its first real computer: the LGP-30.


The Dartmouth Time-Sharing System (DTSS) is born at 4:00 a.m. on May 1 when it solves the problem submitted by two terminals simultaneously: "Print 2+2." The system fails an average of every five minutes.


Results of a swimming competition are computerized for the first time. A student keyboards data at poolside using a teletype and a modem. Applause for an especially good dive disrupts the terminal's acoustic link, crashing the program and eliminating all of the accumulated scores.


First computer scientist hired
Larry Harris. Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell


A survey reports that 73 percent of the student body is enrolled in a course that uses computing. There are 184 such offerings.


Thirteen thousand volts pass through the body of a small squirrel. Kiewit is shut down for ten hours.


Second computer scientist hired
Scot Drysdale. Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford.

Computer Science major established
(during John Kemeny's presidency). First degree was awarded in 1979.


The Dartmouth College libraries develop an experimental on-line catalog.


Macintosh introduced campus-wide
This was a 128k machine.

Department name changed to Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

First senior hire
Professor Donald Jonson (Ph.D. Cornell. 1973). His startup funds were used to purchase for CS faculty the first Sun workstations at Dartmouth.


Ph.D. Program in Computer Science established
There were five Computer Science faculty at this time.


Xerox awards a University Grant to Dartmouth
The grant consisted of $1,000,000 of workstation equipment and provided the impetus to connect the Thayer School by a fiber optic link to the rest of campus.

Six hundred years' worth of scholarship on Dante's Divine Comedy are offered through an on-line database. Other new networked databases include alcohol-related writings, and a compilation of all 1,623 concerts given by the Grateful Dead.


KeyServer, a Dartmouth innovation, allows controlled access to commercially available programs for the Macintosh. Students and faculty get to use the programs for free.


First Ph.D. degree in Computer Science awarded
There were 10.5 regular plus 5 associated faculty.

Second senior hire
Associate Professor Fillia Makedon (Ph.D. Northwestern. 1982).


Dartmouth Institute for Advanced Graduate Studies established
First summer symposium held: 100 attendees.


First massively parallel computer acquired at Dartmouth
The 2048-processor DECmpp was obtained with funding from Digital Equipment Corporation, the National Science Foundation, and the Kiewit Computation Center.

Sudikoff Laboratory for Computer Science finished.

The College announces that it will pull the plug on the Dartmouth Time Sharing System.


Independent Department of Computer Science formed

Dartmouth puts a home page on the Internet's World Wide Web.


11:59pm, December 31: DCTS is shut down for the last time.


12:01am, January 1: Original founders decide to re-write DTSS as an emulator.
This project is born.


May 11: TrueBasic-based emulator available for Mac and Windows here.

Portions reprinted without permission from the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, March 1995.