Among the numerous events being commemorated that coincided with the end of World War II, the University of Pennsylvania is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ENIAC, the world's first general-purpose electronic computer, built on campus to help the war effort. Although details of the celebration have not yet been finalized, university officials point to a number of projects under way, with festivities due to kick off on Feb. 14, 1996. On that date in 1946, ENIAC--Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator--was officially dedicated, heralding what many consider the dawn of the computer age.

Burks ORIGINAL COMPUTERS: "Computer" Alice Burks and her husband, ENIAC design team member Arthur Burks, stand behind an accumulator unit of the machine.

"Eniac holds a place in the history books as the first general-purpose electronic computer that could be programmed to perform different types of calculations at high rates of speed," notes Arthur Burks, a computer...

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