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Jay Forrester SM ’45 (Part 2)

Germeshausen Professor of Management, emeritus

Project Whirlwind 1944 - 1956

Germeshausen Professor of Management, emeritus

Project Whirlwind 1944 - 1956

Jay Forrester SM ’45 (Part 2)
Germeshausen Professor of Management, emeritus
Project Whirlwind 1944 – 1956

A pioneer in early digital computing, Jay Forrester began his career as an engineer and is credited with inventing the first military radar systems and flight simulators, random-access memory, and the Whirlwind digital computer. In the mid-1950s Professor Forrester moved into management, where he became the father of system dynamics, using his knowledge of and experience with electrical systems to analyze human systems. He is currently writing about revamping the US education system.

Highlights of this interview include:

  • Building a generator in high school to bring electricity to his family’s Nebraska farm.
  • Early work at MIT under Gordon S. Brown.
  • Repairing radar systems aboard the USS Lexington off Japan during World War II.
  • Building the first aircraft flight simulator and how it became the Whirlwind digital computer.
  • Origins of computer production at IBM.
  • Inventing random-access magnetic core memory (RAM).
  • Creating system dynamics and its evolution into industrial dynamics, urban dynamics, and world dynamics.

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