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Obituary: I. Bernard Cohen [Biographies]

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1 Author(s)
Haigh, T. ; Indiana University

I. Bernard Cohen was born on 1 March 1914 and died 20 June 2003 in his home in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. He played a central role in the establishment of the history of computing as a topic of serious academic study. Even so, his contributions to the history of the physical sciences were so broad and fundamental that his obituary in the New York Times made no reference to computing. Cohen is best known as the author of classic works on Isaac Newton and Ben Franklin; as a rigorous yet readable popularizer of the history of science in The Birth of a New Physics (1960) and Revolution in Science (1985); as a lifelong teacher who brought his gifts to continuing education classes, cruise-ship passengers, and undergraduates; and as a mentor to generations of now eminent historians. He wrote more than 20 books, and 150 articles. He spent his adult life at Harvard, entering in 1933 as a freshman, staying for his graduate education and teaching there long after his official retirement. His life and works are reviewed.

Published in:

Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )