Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Howard Hathaway Aiken Quotes

Thumbnail of Howard Hathaway Aiken (source)
Howard Hathaway Aiken
(9 Mar 1900 - 14 Mar 1973)

American mathematician.


Science Quotes by Howard Hathaway Aiken (7 quotes)

At the present time there exist problems beyond our ability to solve, not because of theoretical difficulties, but because of insufficient means of mechanical computation.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
In 'Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine' (1937). As quoted in I. Bernard Cohen, Gregory W. Welch (eds.), Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer (1999), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Computation (11)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Exist (89)  |  Insufficient (6)  |  Means (109)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Present (103)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solve (41)  |  Theoretical (10)  |  Time (439)

Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original, you will have to ram it down their throats.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
As quoted, without citation, in Robert Slater, Portraits in Silicon (1987), 88. In reply to a student expressing concern that his own ideas might be stolen before he had published his own thesis. Also seen as “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats,” in Eric A. Weiss, A Computer Science Reader: Selections from ABACUS (1988), 404. (The selections were published in the first three-and-a-half years of ABACUS, a quarterly journal for computing professionals.)
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (440)  |  Original (36)  |  Person (114)  |  Ram (3)  |  Steal (5)  |  Throat (10)  |  Worry (27)

I am a simple man and I want simple answers.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
Said to be a favorite line a favorite line of his when challenging his students. As stated, without citation in Robert Slater, Portraits in Silicon (1987), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Man (345)  |  Simple (111)  |  Want (120)

If Babbage had lived seventy-five years later I would have been out of a job.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
As quoted in Jeremy Bernstein, The Analytical Engine: Computers, Past, Present, and Future (1964), 52. Note: Aiken created the Harvard Mark I computer in the 1940s. Babbage died in 1871.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Babbage (44)  |  Computer Science (10)  |  Job (33)  |  Life (917)

Only six electronic digital computers would be required to satisfy the computing needs of the entire United States.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
(1947). As quoted, without citation, as an epigraph in Jeremy M. Norman, From Gutenberg to the Internet: A Sourcebook on the History of Information Technology (2007), Vol. 2, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Compute (10)  |  Electronic (10)  |  Entire (29)  |  Need (211)  |  Require (33)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  U.S.A. (6)

The desire to economize time and mental effort in arithmetical computations, and to eliminate human liability to error is probably as old as the science of arithmetic itself.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
Opening of proposal submitted to I.B.M., 'Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine' (1937). As quoted by I. Bernard Cohen, in Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (2000), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Computation (11)  |  Desire (101)  |  Effort (94)  |  Eliminate (15)  |  Error (230)  |  Human (445)  |  Liability (5)  |  Mental (57)  |  Old (104)  |  Probably (21)  |  Science (1699)  |  Time (439)

There’s my education in computers, right there; this is the whole thing, everything I took out of a book.
— Howard Hathaway Aiken
From talking with Howard Aiken, as quoted by author I. Bernard Cohen, in Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (2000), 66. Cohen list three particular books that Aiken said he read carefully: E. M. Horsburgh (ed.), Modem Instruments and Methods of Calculation: A Handbook of the Napier Tercentenary Exhibition (1914); D. Baxandall (ed.), Calculating Machines and Instruments: Catalogue of the Collections in the Science Museum (1926); and later, Charles Babbage, Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864).
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Computer (84)  |  Education (280)  |  Everything (120)



Quotes by others about Howard Hathaway Aiken (1)

[Howard] Aiken considered Babbage his intellectual “father.”
As stated in Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (2000), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Babbage (44)  |  Consider (45)  |  Father (44)  |  Intellect (157)


See also:
  • 9 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Aiken's birth.
  • Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer, by I. Bernard Cohen. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.