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SAGE milestone evaluation 15 August 2011

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The mammoth Project SAGE is without doubt highly worthy of an IEEE Milestone. The proposal already highlights the project's many achievements in digital hardware, programming, systems integration, and spawning the Boston region's computer industry. Specific technical accomplishments in signal processing, radar, networking, multiuser computing, and others are well described. The proposed location at Lincoln Laboratory seems entirely appropriate, with original buildings and a secure site. MIT's Lincoln Laboratory agrees to have the site designated as an IEEE milestone, and the Boston section is a willing sponsor.

Drafting text for this milestone may be a bit complicated, since SAGE involved multiple partners in addition to Lincoln Labs. The Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory and IBM are both briefly mentioned; their contributions probably need to be recognized (one sentence could take care of this). There is no mention of Jay Forrester, and I think this omission, if intended, might best be justified.

This proposal draws on the sizable secondary historical literature on Project SAGE (esp. Redmond & Smith), which strengthens its treatment.

One tiny correction: should the title for chapter 17 of the MIT EECS history be "Whirlpool [sic] to SAGE" or rather "Whirlwind to SAGE"?, 15 August 2011