Chronology - 1960s


In 1968, Curricula '68 was introduced by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) to formalize Computer Science as an academic discipline standardized across North America. This new curriculum established a set of courses that emphasized the theoretical and mathematical foundation of Computer Science. As the program started to be broadly implemented, Computer Science courses and degrees became available at universities across North America. With its recent appointments in Computer Science, the University of Waterloo was well placed to maintain a prominent position in this new curriculum.

Paul Ceruzzi, A History of Modern Computing (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 1998), 102.

In this same year, the Physics Department made the purchase of a tape duplicating machine so that audio tapes could be sent to students instead of the students coming to classes in the evenings and weekends, thus beginning UW's correspondence or distance education program which grew to be one of Canada's foremost programs of this type, evolving along with new technologies to introduce CD ROM video delivery systems in order to bring the best of UW's courses to students unable to come to campus and in recent years to offer an alternative to some oversubscribed campus courses . In 1968, in response to budget restrictions, Computing Centre Director Wes Graham reduced the daily hours of the computing centre from twenty-four to eight hours. In an innovative move to raise funds, computer time was rented to private businesses that were waiting for the arrival of newly ordered computing equipment. The University's credibility rose dramatically with local companies, but UW had to ration its own time using the computer. Competing demands for computing time foreshadowed the voracious appetite that would develop around computing use on and off campus. The plan to pay for the computer and to give all faculties the time that they required on the machine would consume much of Graham's efforts in the coming years. At the same time, the use of the UW computer by local industries and companies created new bonds between the university and the community.

The ASMG assembler was developed as a high-speed assembler for the IBM 360 and 370 computer systems by Rennie Peterson. It was based on ASMF, but greatly out performed that compiler (Cowan, Graham, Mackie 28).

Also created in 1968, PDSQUISH was a program first used on the 360 and 370 computer systems that compressed partitioned data sets without copying them, and hence allowed more effective use of disk storage (Cowan, Graham, Mackie 28). IBM's IEMCOPY fulfilled the same function but ran too slowly for UW's needs, so the PDQUISH program was written by Mike Doyle, placing UW in the vanguard of this form of software development.

UW Special Collections. GA 133-944. Wes Graham Fonds. Series 4.1: UW Files to 1973. "Plotting Facilities." Computing Centre Newsletter (Issue 6, June 30, 1967), 1.

UW Special Collections. GA 133-944. Wes Graham Fonds. Series 4.1: UW Files to 1973. "Additions to the Staff." Computing Centre Newsletter (Issue 6, June 30, 1967), 5.

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