My primary areas of research are the business, social, and cultural and intellectual history of information technology, with a particular focus on the post-World War II history of computing, software, and networking.
My current research projects include a book project on the history of the computer services industry from 1955 to the present (under contract with MIT Press), as well as collaborative projects on the history of computer security and the history of NSF FastLane.
My recently completed projects include synthetic books published on the history of the computer industry and the history of IBM, a reference book on the history of scientific computing, and articles and book chapters on the history of semiconductor strategy at mainframe computer firms, the history of medical informatics and privacy, the history of computer security standards, the history of IBM mid-range systems, the internet and American business, the cultural history of computing and software, and IT historiography.
I served as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing from 2008 to 2011. I continue to be an active member on the IEEE Annals’ board as well several other book and journal editorial boards in the history of science and technology.
I served as the Principal Investigator/Project Director on a $488,000 four-year National Science Foundation-sponsored CBI project, “Building a Future for Software History.” Overall, I have led or co-led more than $1.6 million in National Science Foundation-sponsored projects on the history of computing, software, and networking.
Ph.D., History of Technology and Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1998.
M.A., History of Technology and Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1993.
M.B.A., Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 2007.
B.A., Magna Cum Laude, History, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1990.
Associate Director, Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Technology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1998 to present.
Researcher, Center for Regional Economic Issues, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1997-1998.
Consulting Historian, Winthrop Group, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1994-1997.
Concurrent Professional Positions
Faculty, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2010 to present.
Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2008 to 2011.
Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Third Edition (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2014) [with Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, and Nathan Ensmenger].
The IBM Century (Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 2011).
“Airline Travel: A History of Information-Seeking Behavior by Leisure and Business Passengers.” [with Rachel D. Little and Cecilia D. Williams]. In William Aspray and Barbara M. Hayes, eds. Everyday Information: The Evolution of Information Seeking in America (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011): 121-156.
“History of Computing Technology.” Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (Oxford, UK: UNESCO, EOLSS Publishers, 2011). [28,000 word history and historiographical article available at www.eolss.net]
“Materiel Command and the Materiality of Commands: An Historical Examination of the US Air Force, Control Data Corporation, and the Advanced Logistics System.” In Arthur Tatnall, ed. History of Computing: Lessons from the Past. (London: Springer, 2010): 89-100.
“Programming Enterprise: Women Entrepreneurs in Software and Computer Services.” In Thomas J. Misa, ed. Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. (New York: Wiley-IEEE Computer Society, 2010): 229-250.
“Manufacturing Mainframes: Component Fabrication and Component Procurement at IBM and Sperry Univac, 1960-1975” History and Technology 25:3 (September 2009): 219-237.
“Internet Challenges for Non-Media Industries, Firms, and Workers: Travel Agencies, Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Personal Computer Manufacturers, and IT Services Professionals”. In William Aspray and Paul Ceruzzi, eds., The Internet and American Business (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2008): 315-350.
“History of Computer Security Standards”. In Karl de Leuuw, ed., History of Information Security (Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 2007): 595-621.
IBM Rochester: A Half Century of Innovation (IBM 2007). [Co-written with Arthur L. Norberg].
“Maximization and Marginalization: A Brief Examination of the History and Historiography of the U.S. Computer Services Industry.” Entreprises et Histoire 40 (November 2005): 87-101.
“Computers and the Internet: Braiding Irony, Paradox, and Possibility.” in Carroll Pursell, ed. Companion to American Technology. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2005): 340-360.
The Computer Industry (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2005).
“Reprogramming the Hippocratic Oath: The Early History of Medical Informatics and Privacy.” The History and Heritage of Scientific and Technological Information Systems (New Medford, New Jersey: Information Today for Chemical Heritage Foundation and American Society of Information Science, 2004): 46-55.
Bibliographic Guide to Resources in the History of Scientific Computing, 1945-1975 (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002).
Timken: From Missouri to Mars--A Century of Leadership in Manufacturing (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 1998) [Bettye H. Pruitt with the assistance of Jeffrey R. Yost].
Co-Principal Investigator, “Building an Infrastructure for Computer Security History,” National Science Foundation-sponsored project, 2011-2014
Co-Principal Investigator, “Designing and Using FastLane: Distilling Lessons From Cyberinfrastructures,” National Science Foundation-sponsored project, 2008-2011
Co-Principal Investigator, “Research Methods for Contemporary History,” National Science Foundation-sponsored project, 2007-2008
Principal Investigator, “Building a Future for Software History,” National Science Foundation-sponsored project, 1999-2004
Co-Principal Investigator, “The Computer as a Scientific Instrument,” National Science Foundation sponsored project, 1998-2001
Select Professional Service
Editorial Board, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2004 to present
Chair, IEEE Computer Society History Committee, 2013 to present
Editorial Board, Rutherford Journal: The New Zealand Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, 2010 to present
IEEE Publications Board Member (Ex Officio), 2008 - 2011
IEEE Magazines Operations Committee Member, 2008 - 2011
Editorial Advisory Board Member, Springer (History of Computing Series), 2009 to present
International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group 9.7 History of Computers, 2003 to present
Committee Member, Da Vinci Medal Award Committee for Lifetime Achievement in the History of Technology. Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), 2002.
Chair, IEEE Life Members Prize Committee. Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), 2002.
“Diebold and Associates, Information Technology Consulting, and the Diffusion of Knowledge on Digital Computers and Applications Programming in the 1950s.” Business History Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, April 1, 2011.
“Materiel Command and the Materiality of Commands: An Historical Examination of the US Air Force, Control Data Corporation, and the Advanced Logistics Systems.” IFIP World Congress. Brisbane, Australia (September 22, 2010).
“Programming Enterprise: Women Entrepreneurs in Software and Services, 1965-1990.” Business History Conference. Athens, Georgia (March 26, 2010).
“The Evolving US Computer Services Industry as a Lens into Understanding Organizational Boundaries of Data Processing Operations: An Examination of the Defense and Banking Sectors, 1955-1975.” Copenhagen Business School (June 7, 2009).
“Appropriation and (In)dependence: Examining the British Tabulating Machine Company (BTM), IBM, and Burroughs at the Advent of the Computer Industry.” Appropriating America Conference, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (January 17, 2009).
“Manufacturing Mainframes: Examining the Semiconductor Strategies of IBM and Sperry Univac, 1960-1975.” International Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Lisbon, Portugal (October 12, 2008).
“Examining Resources in the History of Computing and Software.” Society of the History of Technology, Washington, D.C. (October 20, 2007).
"The Internet and the Transformation of American Industries: A Case Study of Travel Reservations." Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada (October 13, 2006).
"Internet Challenges for Non-Media Industries, Firms, and Workers: Travel Agencies, Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Personal Computer Manufacturers, and IT Services Professionals." Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany (July 24, 2006).
“A Brief Historical Examination of Business Strategy and Innovation in the Computer Services Industry.” Invited lecture, Computer Science and Engineering Colloquia (April 3, 2006).
“IT Business Archives, Interdisciplinary Research, and the Use and Abuse of History.” Invited lecture to faculty and graduate students, Strategic Management and Organization Department, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota (April 29, 2005).
“Reprogramming the Hippocratic Oath: The Early History of Medical Informatics and Privacy.” Conference on the History and Heritage of Scientific and Technological Information Systems, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (November 17, 2002).
“Chasing IBM: Common Challenges in British and U.S. Computer R&D Management in the 1950s” International Meeting of the Society for the History of Technology, Munich, Germany (August 18, 2000).
“An Historiographical and Bibliographical Examination of Scientific Computing” [Session Chair and Presenter] History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (November 6, 1999).
Society for the History of Technology
American Historical Association
Business History Conference
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
IEEE Computer Society