Writing & research on the history of computing
On the Cold War politics and international economic competition of programming languages. The article explores how the strong research-oriented agenda of the Algol project increased IBM’s doubts about a project that the firm already felt little urge to support. Eventually, the US Department of Defense’s endorsement of Cobol and the rising popularity of Algol in Europe convinced IBM to push for the use of its own programming language Fortran in Western Europe in order to protect the domestic market.
“Managing the Technological Edge: the UNESCO International Computation Centre and the Limits to the Transfer of Computer Technology, 1946-61”, Annals of Science, 71, 3 (2014): 410-31 [publisher's link] [postprint]