Era of punch-card computing

Image: IBM 650 Mainframe computer

Caption: Dr. Rita Colwell used it for her own Ph.D. research to classify marine bacteria. She wrote the program to handle what some thought was a large amount of data gathered on several hundred bacterial cultures.
This was the first American use of the computer to classify bacteria from the environment. In fact, the coding scheme we developed for bacteriological data remains in use today.As for the IBM 650, it was installed in the attic of the chemistry building at the University of Washington, and graduate students got to use it between the hours of two and four a.m. Today, an IBM 650 is literally a museum piece. One is on display at the Smithsonian!

Previous slide Next slide Back to first slide View graphic version