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Herman Hollerith

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/computinghistory/hh/index.html

After receiving his Engineer of Mines (EM) degree at age 19, Hollerith worked on the 1880 US census, a laborious and error-prone operation that cried out for mechanization. After some initial trials with paper tape, he settled on punched cards (pioneered in the Jacquard loom) to record information, and designed special equipment -- a tabulator and sorter -- to tally the results. His designs won the competition for the 1890 US census, chosen for their ability to count combined facts. These machines reduced a ten-year job to three months (some sources give different numbers, ranging from six weeks to three years), saved the 1890 taxpayers five million dollars, and earned him an 1890 Columbia PhD¹.

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I'm an award-winning artist who's been innovating in Web3 since 2019. Prior to that I was a program manager at Twitter and consultant at Google, where I specialized in operationalizing service design and customer experience. Read more