Frederic Calland Williams

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
F.C. Williams
Born Frederic Calland Williams
(1911-06-26)26 June 1911
Stockport
Died 11 August 1977(1977-08-11) (aged 66)
Manchester
Citizenship British
Nationality English
Institutions
Alma mater
Thesis Problems of spontaneous oscillation in electrical circuits (1936)
Doctoral students Tom Kilburn[1]
Known for
Notable awards
Website
www.computer50.org/mark1/williams.html

Sir Frederic Calland Williams, CBE, FRS[2][3] (26 June 1911 Stockport – 11 August 1977 Manchester),[2][4] known as 'F.C. Williams' or (less often) 'Freddie Williams',[5] was an English engineer.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Education[edit]

Williams was educated at Stockport Grammar School and the University of Manchester where he was awarded Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. He went on to received his DPhil degree in 1936[12] after studying at Magdalen College, Oxford.[13]

Research[edit]

Working at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) he was a substantial contributor during World War II to the development of radar.

In 1946 he was appointed as head of the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Manchester. There, with Tom Kilburn, he pioneered the first stored-program digital computer, the Manchester Mark 1 computer

Williams is also recognised for his invention of the Williams-Kilburn tube, an early memory device.

Awards and honours[edit]

Williams was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1950. His nomination reads

During the war F.C. Williams was the chief authority and the main source of ideas on the electrical circuits associated with many radar devices evolved at the Telecommunications Radio Establishment. Many of the extreme refinements of technique embodied in devices such as I.F.F., G.E.E. and Oboe, were due to him and were made possible by his deep knowledge of physical principles. Since the war he has developed successfully an electric storage tube for the proposed Manchester digital computing machine. The storage depends for its success on most delicate properties of wave form produced by electronic bombardment of a spot on a screen.[3]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Kilburn, Tom (1948). A storage system for use with binary digital computing machines (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  2. ^ a b c Kilburn, T.; Piggott, L. S. (1978). "Frederic Calland Williams. 26 June 1911-11 August 1977". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 24: 583. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1978.0020. 
  3. ^ a b c "EC/1950/25 Williams, Sir Frederic Calland: Library and Archive Catalogue". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2014-05-30. 
  4. ^ "Corrigenda: Frederic Calland Williams. 26 June 1911-11 August 1977". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 25: 0–1. 1979. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1979.0001. 
  5. ^ "Frederric Calland Williams (1911 - 1977)". 
  6. ^ Williams, Frederic; Kilburn, Tom (1948). "Electronic Digital Computers". Nature 162 (4117): 487. doi:10.1038/162487a0. 
  7. ^ Anderson David, Delve Janet (2007) Frederic Calland Williams: the Manchester Baby's chief engineer IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 29 (4): 90-102
  8. ^ Williams, F.C.; Kilburn, T. (1949). "A storage system for use with binary-digital computing machines". Proceedings of the IEE - Part II: Power Engineering. doi:10.1049/pi-2.1949.0078. 
  9. ^ Anderson, D. P. (2009). "Interview An interview with Maurice Wilkes". Communications of the ACM 52 (9): 39. doi:10.1145/1562164.1562180. 
  10. ^ Shelburne, B. J.; Burton, C. P. (1998). "Early programs on the Manchester Mark I Prototype". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 20 (3): 4. doi:10.1109/85.707570. 
  11. ^ Burton, C. (1998). "The Manchester baby reborn". IEE Review 44 (3): 113. doi:10.1049/ir:19980302. 
  12. ^ Williams, Frederic Calland (1936). Problems of spontaneous oscillation in electrical circuits (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. (subscription required)
  13. ^ "Williams, Prof. Sir Frederic (Calland)". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-05. (subscription required)