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Sergio Della Pergola

Sergio Della Pergola is an Israeli demographer and statistician. He is a professor and demographic expert in demography and statistics related to the Jewish population. Sergio Della Pergola was born in Trieste. After the war, the family settled in Milan where Della Pergola was an active member of Jewish youth movements and student organizations, he immigrated to Israel in 1966. He holds an M. A. in political science from the University of Pavia and a Ph. D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a Professor Emeritus of Population Studies at the Hebrew University’s Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry, where he was the Institute Chair and Director of the Division of Jewish Demography and Statistics and held the Shlomo Argov Chair in Israel-Diaspora Relations. Della Pergola is married to Miriam Toaff and has four children. Della Pergola is a specialist on the demography of world Jewry and has published numerous books and over two hundred papers on historical demography, the family, international migration, Jewish identification, population projections in the Diaspora and in Israel.

He has written extensively about demography in Palestine. He has lectured at over 70 universities and research centers in Western Europe, North America and Latin America, served as senior policy consultant to the President of Israel, the Israeli government, the Jerusalem municipality, many major national and international organizations, he served on the National Technical Advisory Committee for the 1990 and 2000-01 National Jewish Population Surveys, on the experts committee of the 2013 Pew Research Center survey of Jewish Americans. He was Visiting Professor at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in 2002-03, at Brandeis University in 2006, at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009 and at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010, he is a member of the Yad Vashem Committee for the Righteous of the Nations. In 1999, Della Pergola won the Marshall Sklare Award for distinguished achievement from the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry and his award presentation was entitled: "Thoughts of a Jewish Demographer in the Year 2000".

In 2013, he was awarded the Michael Landau prize for Demography. Official website Sergio Della Pergola vs. the authors of “Voodoo Demographics”

Richard Milton Bloch

Richard Milton "Dick" Bloch was a pioneering American computer programmer. Bloch, Grace Hopper, Robert Campbell were the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I, an electromechanical computer which, when it began operation in 1944, was the first American programmable computer. Bloch was born in Rochester, New York, on June 18, 1921, grew up there, being graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School, he attended Harvard University on a scholarship, majoring in mathematics, being graduated in 1943. He immediately joined the Navy, as World War II was in progress, was assigned to the Naval Research Institute. There, he was recruited by Howard Aiken to work on the Mark I project, moving to Harvard in March 1944; the Harvard Mark I became operational in 1944, was used for war work, including computation of ballistic tables, Bessel tables for electronics and other applications, calculations used by the Manhattan Project for development of the atomic bomb. Compilers and assemblers had not yet been invented, so all programming was done in machine code punched into paper tape.

Grace Hopper called Bloch the Mozart of the computer due to his ability to write a program in ink and have it run the first time. Robert Campbell called Bloch the primary force in getting the Mark I into productive operation. Bloch and Campbell kept notebooks in which they wrote out pieces of code, checked out and were known to be correct. For instance, one of Bloch's routines computed sines than π/4 to 10 digits. Grace Hopper just copied Bloch's routine into her own program when needed, rather than using the sine unit built into the machine; this was an early step toward the creation of subroutines. These subroutines were stored on separate paper tape rolls, although branching to one of these separate paper tapes and returning to the main program was done manually by human operators. Bloch left Harvard in 1947, he worked for Raytheon on development of the RAYDAC became general manager of Raytheon's computer division, vice president for technical operations at Honeywell, vice president for corporate development at the Auerbach Corporation, vice president of the advanced systems division of General Electric, chairman and chief executive of the Artificial Intelligence Corporation and the Meiko Scientific Corporation.

Bloch died of cancer on May 22, 2000