Cut Pathways
S2E7: The Wild West of Computing LIVE!

S2E7: The Wild West of Computing LIVE!

May 3, 2022

“The Wild West of Computing” Live! An Oral History Podcast Performance from Cut Pathways
Created by the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program in the University Libraries

This episode is a live recording of an event held on April 7. Hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo take you on a 68-minute journey through the fascinating history of computer science at Carnegie Mellon. Hear voices like Raj Reddy, Jesse Quatse, and Sherri Nichols, and stories about the DARPA grant that started it all, the Coke machine that inspired the Internet of Things, and more. Guest appearances by historian Andrew Meade McGee and curator Sam Lemley, who presents early computing machines. Live electronic music by How Things Are Made and real-time story illustrations (sorry you can't see these on the podcast) by multidisciplinary artist and designer Maggie Lynn Negrete. 

This episode also features newer oral history interviews that were conducted after Cut Pathways, Season 2 was released.

S2E6: An End to the Wild West of Computing

S2E6: An End to the Wild West of Computing

January 19, 2022

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, we mark the end of "The Wild West of Computing." Collaborations between CMU, industry, and the government strengthen and funding is increasingly tied to specific projects. Computer science at CMU in the 1980s expanded with new departments and institutes. This episode focuses on the emergence of robotics, software, and the Andrew Project. Historian Andrew Meade McGee guests.

S2E5: How DARPA Sees It: An interview with Clint Kelly

S2E5: How DARPA Sees It: An interview with Clint Kelly

January 12, 2022

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, former director at DARPA Clint Kelly discusses the Autonomous Land Vehicle in the mid 1980s. Guest Andrew Meade McGee joins us to discuss the impact of DARPA funding at this time.

 

S2E4: How Pamela Sees it: An Interview with Pamela McCorduck

S2E4: How Pamela Sees it: An Interview with Pamela McCorduck

January 5, 2022

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, author Pamela McCorduck discusses her research in artificial intelligence in the 1970s. Pamela tells stories about her friendships with Herb Simon and Allen Newell, her book Machines Who Think, and a secretive group called the Squirrel Hill Sages. Sam Lemley joins us to talk about the Traub-McCorduck Collection—50 calculating machines, letters and books—housed at the CMU Libraries.

S2E3: The Wild West of Computing | Part 3: Building Culture from Crisis

S2E3: The Wild West of Computing | Part 3: Building Culture from Crisis

December 15, 2021

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, we look at the departure of influential figure, Alan Perlis, staff cuts, and a rebuilding the Department of Computer Science.

S2E2: The Wild West of Computing | Part 2: Funding an Institution

S2E2: The Wild West of Computing | Part 2: Funding an Institution

December 8, 2021

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, we learn how funding from Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) advanced computer science research at CMU. 

S2E1: The Wild West of Computing | Part 1: A Byte-Size History of Computing

S2E1: The Wild West of Computing | Part 1: A Byte-Size History of Computing

November 29, 2021

The second season of Cut Pathways, the oral history podcast from the Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Program, dives into the influential history of computer science at CMU. In a six-episode series, titled “The Wild West of Computing,” hosts Katherine Barbera and David Bernabo along with guests historian Andrew Meade McGee and Curator of Special Collections Sam Lemley show how the culture surrounding computer science significantly altered the reputation of the school from 1956 to 1987. 

 

In this episode, we get a byte-sized history of computing and learn about the very early days of computer science at CMU.

S1E3: Julia Parsons, the Codebreaker

S1E3: Julia Parsons, the Codebreaker

July 13, 2021

In the closing episode of our first season, Julia Parsons discusses how after graduating from Carnegie Institute of Technology, she went on to break secret German submarine codes during World War II.

S1E2: Origin Story: The Activities Board

S1E2: Origin Story: The Activities Board

July 6, 2021

A fun story of how Dan Meloro found direction in his undergrad years by founding Carnegie Mellon University's Activities Board.

S1E1: First Impressions of Pittsburgh

S1E1: First Impressions of Pittsburgh

June 24, 2021

In our first episode, interviewees discuss their first impressions of Pittsburgh, beginning with Anita Newell in the 1940s and ending with Joe Trotter in the 1980s. Sherri Nichols remembers the zig zag nature of the city layout, and many interviewees remember the pollution in vivid detail. 

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