Sherwin Jay Gooch was born at 01:23 a.m. on April 9, 1952, in Mercy Hospital, Champaign, Illinois, USA. He is the eldest son of Jay Doyle Gooch, a life-long amateur radio enthusiast & electrical engineering researcher, and Bede Estelle Gooch (Piercy), an educator and homemaker.
In the sixth grade in 1963, when Mr. Gooch was 11 years old, his Yankee Ridge class was asked to participate as guinea pigs in an experiment being conducted by Dr. J. R. Suchman called "Inquiry Training". Some researchers in the education department of The University of Illinois had heard that computers were to be the wave of the future, and that they communicated using "ones and zeros" which represented true-and-false or yes-and-no. Getting things entirely backward, the educational researchers decided to prepare students for the future by instructing them in a method of learning in which the students were allowed to gather information only by collecting the answers to questions constructed such that a hypothetical teaching-computer-of-the-future could answer them by replying with only a "yes" or a "no" ('1' or '0'). It was a highly revered, documented, intellectualized, and footnoted post-graduate version of "20 questions."
The investigation culminated with a session on 2-station PLATO II, hosted, at the time, by the Illiac I computer. The computer showed Mr. Gooch and a classmate, John Goodell, individually, a short film of a bimetallic strip being alternately heated and cooled. The students were then presented with a set of multiple choice questions which were to be answered by pressing one-of-four large, clunky (relay reset by the computer after each input), numeric teletype buttons.
Mr. Gooch finished early. Wanting to play more with the computer, he asked permission to proceed through the instructional section of the program again. When he looped precisely to the point where the multiple-choice questions were to be presented for a second time...NOTHING!!! The computer would not respond anymore. Someone walking into the room said something excitedly about how if two things "happened within the same microsecond, then maybe..."
The picture of the top of Mr. Gooch's crew-cut head was subsequently published in an article describing how two inventive physicists from the University of Illinois, Don Bitzer and Chalmers Sherwin (coincidentally Mr. Gooch's namesake), had come up with an idea to build a "teaching machine" called "PLATO."
- "Illiac Programming, A Guide to the Preparation of Problems For Solution by the University of Illinois Digital Computer," Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1956.
- CRAY-1 Computer System Hardware Reference Manual, Publication No. 2240004 Rev.C 11/77 (first three chapters) – From DigiBarn / Ed Thelen
- CRAY-1 Computer System Hardware Reference Manual, Publication No. 2240004 Rev.C 11/77 (full, scanned, PDF)
- Collection of on-line Cray manuals & documentation @ Bitsavers
- Verilog definition of Cray-1A CPU logic
- 65de02 Bitzer, D. L., E. R. Lyman, and J. R. Suchman. "REPLAB: A Lesson in Scientific Inquiry Using the PLATO system." CSL Report R-260, 1965.
- Gladdin, Jack, staff photographer for the University of Illinois' Control Systems Laboratory (CSL), later to become UIUC's Coordinated Sciences Laboratory (CSL). Photograph contained in, "A Computer in the Classroom." Men and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Histories from Illinois. Pages 146-164. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1967.
- (Semi-)private communication: Mike Walker to Tebby Lyman.
- Gill, S., R. E. Meagher, D.E. Muller, J. P. Nash, J. E. Robertson, T. Shapin, and D. J. Wheeler. "Illiac Programming, A Guide to the Preparation of Problems For Solution by the University of Illinois Digital Computer." Urbana, IL: Digital Computer Laboratory, University of Illinois, 1956.
- Computer-based Education Research Laboratory staff. "CATO Preliminary Manual." Urbana, IL: Computer-based Education Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, ca. 1965.
- Computer-based Education Research Laboratory staff. "PLATO III Operating Manual." Urbana, IL: Computer-based Education Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, ca. 1965.
- Bitzer, D. L., D. Skaperdas. "PLATO IV - And Economically Viable Large Scale Computer-based Education System." Urbana, IL: Computer-based Education Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, 1968.
- "The Cray-1 Computer System". Cray Research Inc.
- Fairchild Semiconductor, "Fairchild 11C01 ECL Dual 5-4 Input OR/NOR Gate," Fairchild ECL Databook, c1972.
- 67xx04 Kingery, R. A., R. D. Berg, and E. H. Schillinger. "A Computer in the Classroom." Men and Ideas in Engineering: Twelve Histories from Illinois. Pages 146-164. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1967.