Next Boston Computer Breakthrough:
Whirlwind Computer at MIT

Jay Forrester b. 1918


Born on a cattle ranch in Nebraska, Jay Forrester's earliest project was to build a wind-driven system out of old car parts to give his home electrical power.

After graduate school at MIT, Forrester was director of MIT's Digital Computer Laboratory from 1946 to 1951 and head of a Navy-sponsored program to design computers to test aircraft design.

While working on Whirlwind I, which evolved from the Navy project, Forrester developed a new memory tool which doubled the speed and increased the reliability of the computer. For many years, the magnetic core memory was the industry standard.