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Northwest Missouri State University


Jean Jennings Bartik Computing Museum

The Jean Jennings Bartik Computing Museum has a twofold mission:

It honors the accomplishments of Northwest alumnus Jean Jennings Bartik whose pioneering work on the ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer, and the UNIVAC, the world's first commercial computer, helped to shape the digital age we now live in.

It documents showcases Northwest's technological development as an electronic campus.

Currently, the museum, which has an extensive collection of computing artifacts, displays an original ENIAC Decade Ring Counter, which is on loan from the Smithsonian Institute. There is also an original Remington-Rand miniature model of the UNIVAC I.

Jean Jennings Bartik

Jean Jennings Bartik was born December 27, 1924, and was raised on a farm near Stanberry, Mo. She graduated from Stanberry High School in 1941 at the age of 16.

After high school, she attended Northwest Missouri State Teachers College, now Northwest Missouri State University. She was the only female math major at Northwest and graduated in 1945.

Bartik was recruited by the U.S. Army as a human "computer," to hand calculate the firing trajectories of artillery during World War II. In the fall of 1945, Bartik was among six women "computers" (known today as programmers) chosen to program the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the world's first electronic computer. She would later go on to program the BINAC and the UNIVAC (the world's first commercial computer).

In 1997, Bartik and her fellow programmers were inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. She was given an honorary doctorate from Northwest in 2002.