Professor George Forsythe
Professor George Forsythe, Founder and First Chairman of the Stanford CSD
Display of Forsythe PhD student's names in front of Polya Hall
Polya Hall was first location of CSD. It is now used for
computation center offices.
Prof. Forsythe coined the term "Computer Science" in 1961:
... Enough is known already of the diverse applications of computing
to recognize the birth of a coherent body of technique, which I call
computer science ... Whether computers are used for engineering design,
medical data processing, composing music, or other purposes, the structure of computing is much the same ... "
We also display a picture of Mrs. Forsythe, talking to one of the
students (Margaret Wright?).
On this web page we show also the directory of the Numerical
Analysis Group, after the group moved to Serra House and an adjoining
trailer (T) for the academic year 1977-78. Most of the students are
now faculty at other universities. Serra House has since been moved
to another spot on campus to make space for the heating plant.
[Photo courtesy of Chuck Romine (a grandstudent of Prof. Forsythe) and
Mike Heath (a student of Prof. Golub].
The list of Forsythe's
students, and their students, is available at
list of Golub's students, and their students, is also available at
There are several other
trees, most still under construction.
Lightning Calculator [Forsythe] (~1950)
The 7 digit calculator shown here was owned by Prof. Forsythe.
It is derived from Blaise Pascal's Pascaline, designed in 1642.
Addition is performed by inserting a stylus [gio] into the hole
of one of the digit wheels, corresponding to the digit value to be added,
and turning the wheel to a stop, much like a rotary telephone.
The wheels have a carry mechanism to the next digit position.
Lightning calculators were produced in Los Angeles, CA since 1908.
The model shown is a late model, and features a lever on the
left-hand side that allows the totals to be reset to zero.