2018 Norberg Grant Recipients
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2018 Norberg Travel Grant Recipients

This year, three scholars will receive Arthur L. Norberg Travel Grants to facilitate travel to the Charles Babbage Institute to conduct archival research. These awards are made possible through the generous support of our donors in honor of CBI’s founding director, Arthur Norberg. Congratulations to Jillian Foley, doctoral student in Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago; Gili Vidan, doctoral candidate in History of Science at Harvard University; and Avery J. Wiscomb, doctoral student in Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University.

Foley’s research addresses the history of information security and cryptography as security technologies expanded from military-only usage to widespread use throughout industry and law enforcement. Her work at CBI will inform her dissertation proposal. She plans to examine several collections, including the Stephen J. Lukasik Papers, as well as the papers of Donn B. Parker, who, with colleagues at Stanford Research Institute, collected the Computer Crime Case files, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Foley will examine other collections, too, such as the Daniel D. McCracken Papers and the Association for Computing Machinery Records, review oral histories, and draw on other resources from CBI’s ongoing Computer Security History project. Foley is completing an M.S. in Computer Science the University of Chicago, in addition to pursuing her Ph.D.

Vidan will focus on collections related to U.S. cryptographic policy during the 1990s, in particular the Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility Records, the Donn B. Parker Papers, the James W. Cortada Papers, and the Walter L. Anderson Papers. A chapter of her dissertation, Technologies of Trust: The Pursuit of Decentralized Authentication and Algorithmic Governance in the United States, 1967-2017, will be based on research conducted at CBI and will address debates about the Escrowed Encryption Standard (EES), proposed by the Clinton administration, and the subsequent equation of strong cryptography with decentralized architecture. Vidan completed on M.Sc. at Oxford University in Social Science of the Internet and has received several awards to support her doctoral research and travel, including the SIGCIS Michael S. Mahoney Travel Award and the Erwin N. Hiebert Fellowship for Dissertation Research.

Wiscomb is interested in the relationship between post-World War II science and technology, the counterculture revolution, and the shaping of ideas about the future and utopia from 1966 to 1981. He plans to examine collections that can shed light on ways in which business institutions and research labs conceptualized the role of science and technology in shaping the future, including the Lockheed Martin Records, Gordon Everest Monographs on Database Development, Charles T. Casale Collection of Computer Industry Strategies Reports, and EDUCOM Working Papers. Wiscomb will use digital methods to analyze the data he collects. He has engaged in a number of training opportunities in digital humanities scholarship and received several grants and fellowships to support his work in this area, including an A.W. Mellon Fellowship in the Digital Humanities for 2017-2018.

Juliet Burba

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