Technical Terms and Definitions

Vannevar Bush - People

Bush, Vannevar (1890-1974), American scientist, educator, and administrator, born in Everett, Massachusetts, and educated at Tufts College, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During World War I he served with the U.S. Navy as a research engineer. From 1919 to 1971 Bush served in various teaching and administrative positions at MIT and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

While at MIT Bush invented the differential analyzer, a device for rapidly and automatically solving complex mathematical problems and a forerunner of the modern computer. Bush is best known for his federal scientific work with the national Defense Research Committee, of which he was chairman; the Office of Scientific Research and Development, which he directed throughout World War II; and the Research and Development Board of the Army and Navy.

"The first application of hypertext was proposed by Vannevar Bush, US President Roosevelt's science advisor, who was concerned that post-war scientists made best use of the vast amount of research that had gone into the war effort. In his 1945 paper, As We May Think, Bush envisaged the Memex, a device which could create links between related topics in different research papers.