An important history
Attendees at an upcoming lecture will be taken on a trip down memory lane into the history of computing in Australia.
Head of the Caulfield School of Information Technology (IT), Associate Professor Judithe Sheard and Barbara Ainsworth from the Caulfield School of IT will be discussing the Monash Museum of Computing History (MMoCH), which was founded in 2000 to preserve the University’s computing history.
“There were a number of pieces of early computing equipment distributed around the corridors and cupboards of the Faculty of IT, and they provided the core for collection,” Associate Professor Sheard said.
The collection has grown since the first year with regular donations from Faculty of IT staff, other departments and interested people.
Associate Professor Sheard, Museum Director and Mrs Ainsworth, Museum Curator, will discuss the beginnings of the museum and its role, as well as a guide to the current collection, the physical exhibition, public programs and future development plans.
“Many people will ask why have a museum at all? Why collect historical material? Does it have any bearing on modern computing activities? Of course it does,” Associate Professor Sheard said.
“A historical perspective is an important aid to understanding the present, and predicting and managing the future. This is particularly difficult to achieve in IT where the fast evolution of computing has encouraged rapid discard of technology and a focus on the latest and next development.”
Associate Professor Sheard and Mrs Ainsworth will look into a number of MMoCH’s core activities and obligations, including collecting original material, caring for it, and undertaking research on the material.
They will look at how the MMoCH approaches these activities and their plans for the future.
“The collection has some particularly important computers and technology relevant to the role of computing at Monash University. We will also highlight a number of case studies which are part of our current research,” Mrs Ainsworth said.
The talk is part of the ‘History of Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and Technology’ lecture series, organised by Dr Alan Dorin from the Monash Faculty of Information Technology.
The MMoCH has a permanent home in Building B on Monash University’s Caulfield campus and is open to the public during University business hours.
‘A history of computing in Australia’ will be held from 2-3pm on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 in Seminar Room 135, Building 26, at Monash University’s Clayton campus.