John Adam Presper “Pres” Eckert, Jr. (April 9, 1919 – June 3, 1995) was an American electrical engineer and computer pioneer. With John Mauchly he invented the first general-purpose electronic digital computer (ENIAC), presented the first course in computing topics (the Moore School Lectures), founded the first commercial computer company (the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation), and designed the first commercial computer in the U.S., the UNIVAC, which incorporated Eckert’s invention of the mercury delay line memory.
ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was the first electronic general-purpose computer. It was Turing-complete, digital, and capable of being reprogrammed to solve “a large class of numerical problems”. Though ENIAC was designed and primarily used to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory, its first programs included a study of the feasibility of the hydrogen bomb.
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