Science: Mathematical Robot

What Harvard University unblushingly described as "the world's greatest mathematical calculating machine" was last week shown to newsmen. In the presence of high officers of the Navy, which gets exclusive use of the instrument for the duration, Harvard unveiled a bewildering, 50-foot panel of knobs, wires, counters, gears and switches (see cut). It has 500 miles of wire, 3,000,000 electrical connections and, according to the University, will make any mathematical calculation suggested on earth, as well as a number posed by the celestial universe.

This colossal gadget was invented by Harvard's Associate Professor (now Commander) Howard H. Aiken, with the assistance...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!