United States Government's Role in the Development of Computer Technology

Topics: Federal government of the United States, Computer, Electrical engineering Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: April 17, 2014
United States Government's Role in the Development of Computer Technology United States has been playing a dominant role in the computer industry in the world ever since the advent of computer. The key reasons why United States government support for the computer industry was able to produce remarkable results was that the government’s function was always clear-cut, constantly making adjustment according to the industrial development, improving funding mechanism and management. During 1976 to1995, government funding toward computer science and related technological research increased from $180 million to $960 million. In 1972, government spending on computer related study and electrical engineering was less than $1 billion, but which mounted up to $1.7 billion in 1995, accounting for 7% of total federal government spending. Therefore, we can safely say that computer industry in particular, owe its existence to the government. Since World War II, the federal government has been a steadfast supporter of computer technology. The U.S. Army and Navy, both needing fast ways to solve the differential equations they needed to aim long-range guns, funded major research projects. The Army effort, at the University of Pennsylvania, yielded ENIAC. The top engineers on the project, J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly started their own company which built the first “private” commercial computer, UNIVAC. ( Wildstrom) The US federal government long-term investment has profound influence in basic research in computer technology. Direct funding of large-scale projects is risky in terms of its commercial outcome and the long term training of staff who can work with and support new computer structures that will have broadly based applicability. (Bell) Therefore, long-term research needs steady and dependable financial support. As for companies within computer industry, playing-it-close-to-the vest strategy is often adopted. Fortunately, US government stepped up and filled the niche...

Cited: Bell, Gordon. “Government Role in Technical Computing: Lessons from the United States.” Research.microsoft. Microsoft Corporation.Web. n.d. 21 November. 2013.
Schether, Susan. “The effects of military and other government spending on the computer industry: the early years.” Rand. Rand Corporation, 27 July, 2012. Web. 24 November. 2013.
Wildstrom, Steve. “It’s Not Just the Internet: How Government Built the Computer Industry.” Techpinions. Tech.pinions, 25 July, 2012. Web. 21 November. 2013.
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