SAGE milestone text -- 1 Nov 2011
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I might suggest slightly condensing the original, modifying one date, and making two minor additions to fill out the citation. The original draft was 71 words (IEEE guidelines state "60-65 words are preferred for aesthetic reasons.") Tom Misa
In 1951 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began developing an air defense system for the United States. The Whirlwind digital computer built at MIT became the centerpiece of the SAGE system. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory, working with partners in industry and government, carried out its initial development. By 1961 23 SAGE control centers were complete. SAGE was a forerunner of today’s digital computer networks. (64 words)
“In 1957, the first SAGE station became operational. By 1961, the system's 23 sectors were complete” <http://www.mitre.org/about/photo_archives/sage_photo.html> Original text stated original operation in 1958, but "what counts" for original operation might not be fully clear. Statement about the 23 centers being complete seems accurate and unambiguous.
“Lincoln Laboratory was established in 1951 to build the nation's first air defense system” <http://www.ll.mit.edu/about/History/history.html> Should the citation state, explicitly, that Lincoln Laboratory was created in 1951?
I apologize for taking so long to respond to comments by Tom Misa and others. I’d forgotten to check the milestone discussion tab.
The following is a response to the comments received. First, the milestone citation was intended to cover only the front end of entire SAGE project, from 1951 to 1958, not the entire program. Our objective was limited to the work performed at Lincoln Lab at the beginning of SAGE. The nomination makes no claim to the completion of SAGE involving IBM or other companies located beyond the Boston Section. Wording of the citation focuses on the work accomplished in the IEEE section by MIT Lincoln Laboratory, before MITRE was born. We went to great lengths to avoid naming other critically important organization, USAF, MITRE, IBM, and other partners in industries, and for that reason the citation claims only the first of many control centers. I welcome ways in reducing the word count below the maximum limit of 70. Gilmore Cooke.
My understanding is that SAGE was intended for continental air defense. Note that it is the Canadian SAGE installation from North Bay, Ontario that is currently held by the Boston Computer Museum.
In 1951 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology undertook the development of an air defense system for the United States. The centerpiece of this defense system was a large digital computer originally developed at MIT. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory was formed to carry out the initial development of this system and the first of some 23 SAGE control centers was completed in 1958. SAGE was the forerunner of today’s digital computer networks.
In 1951 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology undertook the development of a continental air defense system for North America. The centerpiece of this defense system was a large digital computer originally developed at MIT. The MIT Lincoln Laboratory was formed to carry out the initial development of this system and the first of some 23 SAGE control centers was completed in 1958. SAGE was the forerunner of today’s digital computer networks.