Konrad Zuse

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"Zuse" redirects here. Konrad Zuse_sentence_0

For Konrad Zuse's son, see Horst Zuse. Konrad Zuse_sentence_1

For the institute, see Zuse Institute Berlin. Konrad Zuse_sentence_2

Konrad Zuse_table_infobox_0

Konrad ZuseKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_0_0
BornKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_1_0 (1910-06-22)22 June 1910

Berlin, Prussia, German EmpireKonrad Zuse_cell_0_1_1

DiedKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_2_0 18 December 1995(1995-12-18) (aged 85)

Hünfeld, Hesse, GermanyKonrad Zuse_cell_0_2_1

NationalityKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_3_0 GermanKonrad Zuse_cell_0_3_1
Alma materKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_4_0 Technical University of BerlinKonrad Zuse_cell_0_4_1
Known forKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_5_0 Z3, Z4

Plankalkül Calculating Space (cf. digital physics)Konrad Zuse_cell_0_5_1

AwardsKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_6_0 Werner von Siemens Ring in 1964,
Harry H. Goode Memorial Award in 1965 (together with George Stibitz), 

Wilhelm Exner Medal, 1969 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1972 Computer History Museum Fellow Award in 1999Konrad Zuse_cell_0_6_1

FieldsKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_7_0 Computer science
Computer engineeringKonrad Zuse_cell_0_7_1
InstitutionsKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_8_0 Aerodynamic Research InstituteKonrad Zuse_cell_0_8_1
SignatureKonrad Zuse_header_cell_0_9_0

Konrad Zuse (German: [ˈkɔnʁat ˈtsuːzə; 22 June 1910 – 18 December 1995) was a German civil engineer, pioneering computer scientist, inventor and businessman. Konrad Zuse_sentence_3

His greatest achievement was the world's first programmable computer; the functional program-controlled Turing-complete Z3 became operational in May 1941. Konrad Zuse_sentence_4

Thanks to this machine and its predecessors, Zuse has often been regarded as the inventor of the modern computer. Konrad Zuse_sentence_5

Zuse was noted for the S2 computing machine, considered the first process control computer. Konrad Zuse_sentence_6

In 1941, he founded one of the earliest computer businesses, producing the Z4, which became the world's first commercial computer. Konrad Zuse_sentence_7

From 1943 to 1945 he designed the first high-level programming language, Plankalkül. Konrad Zuse_sentence_8

In 1969, Zuse suggested the concept of a computation-based universe in his book Rechnender Raum (Calculating Space). Konrad Zuse_sentence_9

Much of his early work was financed by his family and commerce, but after 1939 he was given resources by the Nazi German government. Konrad Zuse_sentence_10

Due to World War II, Zuse's work went largely unnoticed in the United Kingdom and the United States. Konrad Zuse_sentence_11

Possibly his first documented influence on a US company was IBM's option on his patents in 1946. Konrad Zuse_sentence_12

Early life and education Konrad Zuse_section_0

Konrad Zuse was born in Berlin on 22 June 1910. Konrad Zuse_sentence_13

In 1912, his family moved to East Prussian Braunsberg (now Braniewo in Poland), where his father was a postal clerk. Konrad Zuse_sentence_14

Zuse attended the Collegium Hosianum in Braunsberg and in 1923, the family moved to Hoyerswerda where he passed his Abitur in 1928, qualifying him to enter university. Konrad Zuse_sentence_15

He enrolled in the Technische Hochschule Berlin (now Technical University of Berlin) and explored both engineering and architecture, but found them boring. Konrad Zuse_sentence_16

Zuse then pursued civil engineering, graduating in 1935. Konrad Zuse_sentence_17

Career Konrad Zuse_section_1

After graduation, Zuse worked for the Ford Motor Company, using his artistic skills in the design of advertisements. Konrad Zuse_sentence_18

He started work as a design engineer at the Henschel aircraft factory in Schönefeld near Berlin. Konrad Zuse_sentence_19

This required the performance of many routine calculations by hand, which he found mind-numbing, leading him to dream of doing them by machine. Konrad Zuse_sentence_20

Beginning in 1935 he experimented in the construction of computers in his parents' flat on Wrangelstraße 38, moving with them into their new flat on Methfesselstraße 10, the street leading up the Kreuzberg, Berlin. Konrad Zuse_sentence_21

Working in his parents' apartment in 1936, he produced his first attempt, the Z1, a floating point binary mechanical calculator with limited programmability, reading instructions from a perforated 35 mm film. Konrad Zuse_sentence_22

In 1937, Zuse submitted two patents that anticipated a von Neumann architecture. Konrad Zuse_sentence_23

In 1938, he finished the Z1 which contained some 30,000 metal parts and never worked well due to insufficient mechanical precision. Konrad Zuse_sentence_24

On 30 January 1944, the Z1 and its original blueprints were destroyed with his parents' flat and many neighbouring buildings by a British air raid in World War II. Konrad Zuse_sentence_25

Zuse completed his work entirely independently of other leading computer scientists and mathematicians of his day. Konrad Zuse_sentence_26

Between 1936 and 1945, he was in near-total intellectual isolation. Konrad Zuse_sentence_27

1939–1945 Konrad Zuse_section_2

In 1939, Zuse was called to military service, where he was given the resources to ultimately build the Z2. Konrad Zuse_sentence_28

In September 1940 Zuse presented the Z2, covering several rooms in the parental flat, to experts of the Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt (DVL; i.e. German Research Institute for Aviation). Konrad Zuse_sentence_29

The Z2 was a revised version of the Z1 using telephone relays. Konrad Zuse_sentence_30

In 1940, the German government began funding him and his company through the Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt (AVA, Aerodynamic Research Institute, forerunner of the DLR), which used his work for the production of glide bombs. Konrad Zuse_sentence_31

Zuse built the S1 and S2 computing machines, which were special purpose devices which computed aerodynamic corrections to the wings of radio-controlled flying bombs. Konrad Zuse_sentence_32

The S2 featured an integrated analog-to-digital converter under program control, making it the first process-controlled computer. Konrad Zuse_sentence_33

In 1941 Zuse started a company, Zuse Apparatebau (Zuse Apparatus Construction), to manufacture his machines, renting a workshop on the opposite side in Methfesselstraße 7 and stretching through the block to Belle-Alliance Straße 29 (renamed and renumbered as Mehringdamm 84 in 1947). Konrad Zuse_sentence_34

In 1941, he improved on the basic Z2 machine, and built the Z3. Konrad Zuse_sentence_35

On 12 May 1941 Zuse presented the Z3, built in his workshop, to the public. Konrad Zuse_sentence_36

The Z3 was a binary 22-bit floating point calculator featuring programmability with loops but without conditional jumps, with memory and a calculation unit based on telephone relays. Konrad Zuse_sentence_37

The telephone relays used in his machines were largely collected from discarded stock. Konrad Zuse_sentence_38

Despite the absence of conditional jumps, the Z3 was a Turing complete computer. Konrad Zuse_sentence_39

However, Turing-completeness was never considered by Zuse (who had practical applications in mind) and only demonstrated in 1998 (see History of computing hardware). Konrad Zuse_sentence_40

The Z3, the first fully operational electromechanical computer, was partially financed by German government-supported DVL, which wanted their extensive calculations automated. Konrad Zuse_sentence_41

A request by his co-worker Helmut Schreyer—who had helped Zuse build the Z3 prototype in 1938—for government funding for an electronic successor to the Z3 was denied as "strategically unimportant". Konrad Zuse_sentence_42

In 1937, Schreyer had advised Zuse to use vacuum tubes as switching elements; Zuse at this time considered it a crazy idea ("Schnapsidee" in his own words). Konrad Zuse_sentence_43

Zuse's workshop on Methfesselstraße 7 (with the Z3) was destroyed in an Allied Air raid in late 1943 and the parental flat with Z1 and Z2 on 30 January the following year, whereas the successor Z4, which Zuse had begun constructing in 1942 in new premises in the Industriehof on Oranienstraße 6, remained intact. Konrad Zuse_sentence_44

On 3 February 1945, aerial bombing caused devastating destruction in the Luisenstadt, the area around Oranienstraße, including neighbouring houses. Konrad Zuse_sentence_45

This event effectively brought Zuse's research and development to a complete halt. Konrad Zuse_sentence_46

The partially finished, telephone relay-based Z4 computer was then packed and moved from Berlin on 14 February, arriving in Göttingen approximately two weeks later. Konrad Zuse_sentence_47

These machines contributed to the Henschel Werke Hs 293 and Hs 294 guided missiles developed by the German military between 1941 and 1945, which were the precursors to the modern cruise missile. Konrad Zuse_sentence_48

The circuit design of the S1 was the predecessor of Zuse's Z11. Konrad Zuse_sentence_49

Zuse believed that these machines had been captured by occupying Soviet troops in 1945. Konrad Zuse_sentence_50

While working on his Z4 computer, Zuse realised that programming in machine code was too complicated. Konrad Zuse_sentence_51

He started working on a PhD thesis. Konrad Zuse_sentence_52

containing groundbreaking research years ahead of its time, mainly the first high-level programming language, Plankalkül ("Plan Calculus") and, as an elaborate example program, the first real computer chess engine. Konrad Zuse_sentence_53

1945–1995 Konrad Zuse_section_3

After the 1945 Luisenstadt bombing, he flew from Berlin for the rural Allgäu. Konrad Zuse_sentence_54

In the extreme privation of post-war Germany Zuse was unable to build computers. Konrad Zuse_sentence_55

In 1947, according to the memoirs of the German computer pioneer Heinz Billing from the Max Planck Institute for Physics, there was a meeting between Alan Turing and Konrad Zuse in Göttingen. Konrad Zuse_sentence_56

The encounter had the form of a colloquium. Konrad Zuse_sentence_57

Participants were Womersley, Turing, Porter from England and a few German researchers like Zuse, Walther, and Billing. Konrad Zuse_sentence_58

(For more details see Herbert Bruderer, Konrad Zuse und die Schweiz). Konrad Zuse_sentence_59

It was not until 1949 that Zuse was able to resume work on the Z4. Konrad Zuse_sentence_60

He would show the computer to the mathematician Eduard Stiefel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich) who then ordered one in 1950. Konrad Zuse_sentence_61

In November 1949, Zuse KG was founded and that Z4 was delivered to ETH Zurich in July 1950, and proved very reliable. Konrad Zuse_sentence_62

Unable to do any hardware development, he continued working on the Plankalkül, eventually publishing some brief excerpts of his thesis in 1948 and 1959; the work in its entirety, however, remained unpublished until 1972. Konrad Zuse_sentence_63

The PhD thesis was submitted at University of Augsburg, but rejected for formal reasons, because Zuse forgot to pay the 400 Mark university enrollment fee. Konrad Zuse_sentence_64

The rejection did not bother him. Konrad Zuse_sentence_65

Plankalkül slightly influenced the design of ALGOL 58 but was itself implemented only in 1975 in a dissertation by Joachim Hohmann. Konrad Zuse_sentence_66

Heinz Rutishauser, one of the inventors of ALGOL, wrote: "The very first attempt to devise an algorithmic language was undertaken in 1948 by K. Zuse. Konrad Zuse_sentence_67

His notation was quite general, but the proposal never attained the consideration it deserved". Konrad Zuse_sentence_68

Further implementations followed in 1998 and then in 2000 by a team from the Free University of Berlin. Konrad Zuse_sentence_69

Donald Knuth suggested a thought experiment: What might have happened had the bombing not taken place, and had the PhD thesis accordingly been published as planned? Konrad Zuse_sentence_70

In 1956, Zuse began to work on a high precision, large format plotter. Konrad Zuse_sentence_71

It was demonstrated at the 1961 Hanover Fair, and became well known also outside of the technical world thanks to Frieder Nake's pioneering computer art work. Konrad Zuse_sentence_72

Other plotters designed by Zuse include the ZUSE Z90 and ZUSE Z9004. Konrad Zuse_sentence_73

In 1967, Zuse suggested that the universe itself is running on a cellular automaton or similar computational structure (digital physics); in 1969, he published the book Rechnender Raum (translated into English as Calculating Space). Konrad Zuse_sentence_74

In the last years of his life, Zuse conceptualized and created a purely mechanical, extensible, modular tower automaton he named "helix tower" ("Helixturm"). Konrad Zuse_sentence_75

The structure is based on a gear drive that employs rotary motion (e.g. provided by a crank) to assemble modular components from a storage space, elevating a tube-shaped tower; the process is reversible, and inverting the input direction will deconstruct the tower and store the components. Konrad Zuse_sentence_76

The Deutsches Museum restored Zuse's original 1:30 functional model that can be extended to a height of 2.7 m. Zuse intended the full construction to reach a height of 120 m, and envisioned it for use with wind power generators and radio transmission installations. Konrad Zuse_sentence_77

Between 1987 and 1989, Zuse recreated the Z1, suffering a heart attack midway through the project. Konrad Zuse_sentence_78

It cost 800,000 DM, (approximately $500,000) and required four individuals (including Zuse) to assemble it. Konrad Zuse_sentence_79

Funding for this retrocomputing project was provided by Siemens and a consortium of five companies. Konrad Zuse_sentence_80

Personal life Konrad Zuse_section_4

Konrad Zuse married Gisela Brandes in January 1945, employing a carriage, himself dressed in tailcoat and top hat and with Gisela in a wedding veil, for Zuse attached importance to a "noble ceremony". Konrad Zuse_sentence_81

Their son Horst, the first of five children, was born in November 1945. Konrad Zuse_sentence_82

While Zuse never became a member of the Nazi Party, he is not known to have expressed any doubts or qualms about working for the Nazi war effort. Konrad Zuse_sentence_83

Much later, he suggested that in modern times, the best scientists and engineers usually have to choose between either doing their work for more or less questionable business and military interests in a Faustian bargain, or not pursuing their line of work at all. Konrad Zuse_sentence_84

After Zuse retired, he focused on his hobby of painting. Konrad Zuse_sentence_85

Zuse was an atheist. Konrad Zuse_sentence_86

Zuse died on 18 December 1995 in Hünfeld, Hesse (near Fulda) from heart failure. Konrad Zuse_sentence_87

Zuse the entrepreneur Konrad Zuse_section_5

Zuse founded one of the earliest computer companies: the Zuse-Ingenieurbüro Hopferau. Konrad Zuse_sentence_88

Capital was raised in 1946 through ETH Zurich and an IBM option on Zuse's patents. Konrad Zuse_sentence_89

In 1949, Zuse founded another company, Zuse KG in Haunetal-Neukirchen; in 1957 the company's head office moved to Bad Hersfeld. Konrad Zuse_sentence_90

The Z4 was finished and delivered to the ETH Zurich, Switzerland in September 1950. Konrad Zuse_sentence_91

At that time, it was the only working computer in continental Europe, and the second computer in the world to be sold, beaten only by the BINAC, which never worked properly after it was delivered. Konrad Zuse_sentence_92

Other computers, all numbered with a leading Z, up to Z43, were built by Zuse and his company. Konrad Zuse_sentence_93

Notable are the Z11, which was sold to the optics industry and to universities, and the Z22, the first computer with a memory based on magnetic storage. Konrad Zuse_sentence_94

By 1967, the Zuse KG had built a total of 251 computers. Konrad Zuse_sentence_95

Owing to financial problems, the company was then sold to Siemens. Konrad Zuse_sentence_96

Awards and honours Konrad Zuse_section_6

Zuse received several awards for his work: Konrad Zuse_sentence_97

Konrad Zuse_unordered_list_0

The Zuse Institute Berlin is named in his honour. Konrad Zuse_sentence_98

The Konrad Zuse Medal of the Gesellschaft für Informatik, and the Konrad Zuse Medal of the Zentralverband des Deutschen Baugewerbes (Central Association of German Construction), are both named after Zuse. Konrad Zuse_sentence_99

A replica of the Z3, as well as the original Z4, is in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Konrad Zuse_sentence_100

The Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin has an exhibition devoted to Zuse, displaying twelve of his machines, including a replica of the Z1 and several of Zuse's paintings. Konrad Zuse_sentence_101

Zuse Year 2010 Konrad Zuse_section_7

The 100th anniversary of his birth was celebrated by exhibitions, lectures and workshops. Konrad Zuse_sentence_102

German posts DP AG issued a commemorative stamp at this occasion, 6 June 2010: a Zuse portrait, composed solely by the binary code numbers 1 and 0 in fine print. Konrad Zuse_sentence_103

See also Konrad Zuse_section_8

Konrad Zuse_unordered_list_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad Zuse.