PSU Archives

  1. The ‘Penn State Automatic Computer’ →

    Some local history on one of the first large-scale university computers.

    They secured $25,000 in University funds and $17,000 from the National Science Foundation for constructing PENNSTAC — Penn State Automatic Computer. The machine they envisioned would cost $300,000 on the commercial market. Yet building it from scratch, Tarpley said, would provide his team of faculty and graduate students invaluable hands-on experience.

    And this:

    According to a 1957 account in the Daily Collegian student newspaper, PENNSTAC could “perform 1,400 additions of 10-digit numbers in one second, and its magnetic drum can store 2.5 thousand 10-digit figures.”

  2. Century-Old Pennsylvania Relief Map Restored by PSU →

    Here are some excerpts of the story:

    In 2014, as Penn State’s Steidle Building was undergoing renovations, a large—7.5 feet x 17 feet, to be exact—map of Pennsylvania was discovered leaning against the wall of an office.

    It turned out to be a relief map, or a map that depicts land configuration and height of land surface, of the state. Made in the late 1800s, the map was displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair.

    The fully restored 7.5 feet by 17 feet plaster relief map of Pennsylvania is displayed in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery

    It’s great that they were able to restore it. I really want to go see this thing.

  3. Penn State Lunar Lion keeps eyes on the Moon →

    While Google’s Lunar XPRIZE may have been an ambitious goal, the new goal of reaching the moon within the next decade sounds like the start of a slow death to this project. I hope I am wrong.

    Penn State’s Lunar Lion team has announced that it is withdrawing from the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition — however, the program continues with the goal of landing a spacecraft on the Moon within the next decade.