computer: analog correlator

Major collection: Science & Technology
Object type: computer
Maker: Oregon Electronic Mfg. Co.
Date made: date unknown
Materials: metal; wire; electronics
Measurements: 78 in x 21 1/2 in x 23 in
Nomenclature: data processing tools and equipment - electronic devices
Classification: tools and equipment

Analysis system with front panels containing voltmeters, ammeters, channel selectors, switches. Interdisciplinary collaboration is hardly a new phenomenon at MIT. Researchers frequently make connections across departmental or disciplinary boundaries. The first significant interdepartmental laboratory at MIT was the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), established in 1946 with the goal of preserving the facilities and research community that had been created by the MIT Radiation Laboratory. It has been a remarkable incubator for new research and organizations at MIT. Walter Rosenblith started the Communications Biophysics Laboratory at RLE to apply modern electronics and Norbert Weiner's mathematical work to the poorly understood phenomenon of electromagnetic waves in the brain. This unit is one piece of a large computer built in collaboration with groups at MIT and at Massachusetts General Hospital, including Doctor John Barlow. Wiener volunteered for one of the first tests of the machine's function -- but when asked to generate alpha waves by lying down and relaxing, he promptly fell asleep! [MIT 150 Exhibition label text]


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