click links in text for more info

Herman Hollerith

Herman Hollerith was an American businessman and statistician who developed an electromechanical tabulating machine for punched cards to assist in summarizing information and in accounting. His invention of the punched card tabulating machine, patented in 1884, marks the beginning of the era of semiautomatic data processing systems, his concept dominated that landscape for nearly a century, he was the founder of the Tabulating Machine Company, amalgamated in 1911 with three other companies to form a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, renamed IBM in 1924. Hollerith is regarded as one of the seminal figures in the development of data processing. Herman Hollerith was born the son of German immigrant Prof. Georg Hollerith from Großfischlingen in Buffalo, New York, where he spent his early childhood, he entered the City College of New York in 1875, graduated from the Columbia University School of Mines with an "Engineer of Mines" degree in 1879 at age 19, in 1890 asked for a PhD based on his development of the tabulating system.

In 1882 Hollerith joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he taught mechanical engineering and conducted his first experiments with punched cards. He moved to Washington, D. C. living in Georgetown, with a home on 29th Street and a business building at 31st Street and the C&O Canal, where today there is a commemorative plaque installed by IBM. He died in Washington D. C. of a heart attack. At the suggestion of John Shaw Billings, Hollerith developed a mechanism using electrical connections to increment a counter, recording information. A key idea was that a datum could be recorded by the presence or absence of a hole at a specific location on a card. For example, if a specific hole location indicates marital status a hole there can indicate married while not having a hole indicates single. Hollerith determined that data in specified locations on a card, arranged in rows and columns, could be counted or sorted electromechanically. A description of this system, An Electric Tabulating System, was submitted by Hollerith to Columbia University as his doctoral thesis, is reprinted in Randell's book.

On January 8, 1889, Hollerith was issued U. S. Patent 395,782, claim 2 of which reads: The herein-described method of compiling statistics, which consists in recording separate statistical items pertaining to the individual by holes or combinations of holes punched in sheets of electrically non-conducting material, bearing a specific relation to each other and to a standard, counting or tallying such statistical items separately or in combination by means of mechanical counters operated by electro-magnets the circuits through which are controlled by the perforated sheets as and for the purpose set forth. Hollerith had left teaching and begun working for the United States Census Bureau in the year he filed his first patent application. Titled "Art of Compiling Statistics", it was filed on September 23, 1884. S. Patent 395,782 was granted on January 8, 1889. Hollerith did business under his own name, as The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, specializing in punched card data processing equipment.

He provided tabulators and other machines under contract for the Census Office, which used them for the 1890 census. The net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the scheduled publications, the use of Hollerith's electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census. In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company. Many major census bureaus around the world leased his equipment and purchased his cards, as did major insurance companies. Hollerith's machines were used for censuses in England, Germany, Austria, France, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, again in the 1900 census, he invented the first keypunch. The 1890 Tabulator was hardwired to operate on 1890 Census cards. A control panel in his 1906 Type I Tabulator simplified rewiring for different jobs; the 1920s removable control panel supported near instant job changing.

These inventions were among the foundations of the data processing industry and Hollerith's punched cards continued in use for a century. In 1911 four corporations, including Hollerith's firm, were amalgamated to form a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Under the presidency of Thomas J. Watson, CTR was renamed International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. By 1933 The Tabulating Machine Company name had disappeared as subsidiary companies were subsumed by IBM. Hollerith is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D. C. Hollerith cards were named after Herman Hollerith, as were Hollerith strings and Hollerith constants, his great-grandson, the Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV, was the Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, another great-grandson, Randolph Marshall Hollerith, is an Episcopal priest and the dean of Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D. C. For more on Punched card history, see: Unit record equipment For IBM see: Further reading and History of IBM Ashurst, Gareth.

Pioneers of Computing. Frederick Muller. Pp. 77–90. Beniger, James R; the Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society, Harvard University Press, 1986 pp. 390–425 Cortada, J

Diversification (finance)

In finance, diversification is the process of allocating capital in a way that reduces the exposure to any one particular asset or risk. A common path towards diversification is to reduce risk or volatility by investing in a variety of assets. If asset prices do not change in perfect synchrony, a diversified portfolio will have less variance than the weighted average variance of its constituent assets, less volatility than the least volatile of its constituents. Diversification is one of two general techniques for reducing investment risk; the other is hedging. The simplest example of diversification is provided by the proverb "Don't put all your eggs in one basket". Dropping the basket will break all the eggs. Placing each egg in a different basket is more diversified. There is more risk of losing less risk of losing all of them. On the other hand, having a lot of baskets may increase costs. In finance, an example of an undiversified portfolio is to hold only one stock; this is risky. It is less common for a portfolio of 20 stocks to go down that much if they are selected at random.

If the stocks are selected from a variety of industries, company sizes and asset types it is less to experience a 50% drop since it will mitigate any trends in that industry, company class, or asset type. Since the mid-1970s, it has been argued that geographic diversification would generate superior risk-adjusted returns for large institutional investors by reducing overall portfolio risk while capturing some of the higher rates of return offered by the emerging markets of Asia and Latin America. If the prior expectations of the returns on all assets in the portfolio are identical, the expected return on a diversified portfolio will be identical to that on an undiversified portfolio; some assets will do better than others. The return on a diversified portfolio can never exceed that of the top-performing investment, indeed will always be lower than the highest return. Conversely, the diversified portfolio's return will always be higher than that of the worst-performing investment. So by diversifying, one loses the chance of having invested in the single asset that comes out best, but one avoids having invested in the asset that comes out worst.

That is the role of diversification: it narrows the range of possible outcomes. Diversification need not either help or hurt expected returns, unless the alternative non-diversified portfolio has a higher expected return. There is no magic number of stocks, diversified versus not. Sometimes quoted is 30, although it can be as low as 10, provided they are chosen; this is based on a result from Stephen Archer. A 1985 book reported that most value from diversification comes from the first 15 or 20 different stocks in a portfolio. More stocks give lower price volatility. Given the advantages of diversification, many experts recommend maximum diversification known as "buying the market portfolio". Identifying that portfolio is not straightforward; the earliest definition comes from the capital asset pricing model which argues the maximum diversification comes from buying a pro rata share of all available assets. This is the idea underlying index funds. Diversification has no maximum so long; every weighted, uncorrelated asset added to a portfolio can add to that portfolio's measured diversification.

When assets are not uniformly uncorrelated, a weighting approach that puts assets in proportion to their relative correlation can maximize the available diversification. "Risk parity" is an alternative idea. This weights assets in inverse proportion to risk, so the portfolio has equal risk in all asset classes; this is justified both on theoretical grounds, with the pragmatic argument that future risk is much easier to forecast than either future market price or future economic footprint. "Correlation parity" is an extension of risk parity, is the solution whereby each asset in a portfolio has an equal correlation with the portfolio, is therefore the "most diversified portfolio". Risk parity is the special case of correlation parity. One simple measure of financial risk is variance of the return on the portfolio. Diversification can lower the variance of a portfolio's return below what it would be if the entire portfolio were invested in the asset with the lowest variance of return if the assets' returns are uncorrelated.

For example, let asset X have stochastic return x and asset Y have stochastic return y, with respective return variances σ x 2 and σ y 2. If the fraction q of a one-unit portfolio is placed in asset X and the fraction 1 − q is placed in Y, the stochastic portfolio return is q x + y. If x and y are uncorrelated, the variance of portfolio return is var = q 2 σ x 2 +

Shepreth railway station

Shepreth railway station serves the village of Shepreth in Cambridgeshire, England. The station is on 49 miles 67 chains from London King's Cross, it was opened in 1851 by the Royston and Hitchin Railway as the northern terminus of an extension of the original route from Royston, after earlier plans by the Eastern Counties Railway to build a Cambridge to Bedford line through the village fell through due to lack of finance. The ECR did complete the line north through to a junction with its main line from London to Cambridge in 1852 and ran services on the R&HR, but they gave way to the Great Northern Railway when its lease of the Royston company expired in 1866; the GNR began running through trains between Kings Cross & Cambridge over the line from 1 April that year, having gained full running powers over ECR metals and access to Cambridge station as part of an agreement ratified by parliament two years previously. Goods traffic was handled at the station until 1965. From 1978, through trains to the capital temporarily ceased when electric operation was inaugurated to Royston as part of the Kings Cross Outer Suburban electrification scheme.

Passengers had to use a Cambridge to Royston DMU shuttle and change at the latter station for London. Government approval for extending the wires through to Cambridge was granted in 1987 and the work was completed 12 months allowing through running to Kings Cross to resume. Platform 2 was extended in Summer 2017 to be able to accommodate 8-car trains, without straddling the level crossing. Although platform 1 was not lengthened, 8-car trains now call there using Selective door operation which opens the doors on the front four carriages only. Shepreth will be connected to the Thameslink network via the canal tunnels at Kings Cross St Pancras from 2018. There is a half-hourly stopping service to London King's Cross southbound and Cambridge northbound on weekdays, an hourly service at weekends. Train times and station information for Shepreth railway station from National Rail

Gershasp (gladiator)

Garshāsp (Persian: is the name of a monster-slaying hero in Iranian mythology. The Avestan form of his name is Kərəsāspa and in Middle Persian his name is Kirsāsp. Gershasp is beside Sām, Qaren in the time of Fereydun and one of Manuchehr commanders. Garshasp or Garshasb was a king. Certain of his deeds are recounted in the epic poem Shāhnāma, which preserves, in late form, many of the legends and stories of Greater Persia. Garshasb had been ruling for more than 50 years when the royal family fell victim to black magic and were killed one after the other. Legend has it that there were a few members of the Garshasp clan who survived, but that they remain enchanted to this day. Garshāsp is only tangentially mentioned in the Shāhnāma. There he appears as a distant ancestor of the hero Rostam, who lived at about the same time as King Fereydun. Garshāsp is the father of Narēmān, the father of Sām, father of Zāl, in turn Rostam's father. In the Zoroastrian religious text of the Avesta, Kərəsāspa appears as the slayer of ferocious monsters, including the Gandarəβa and the Aži Sruvara.

In Zoroastrian texts Kirsāsp is revived at the end of the world to defeat the monster Dahāg. Kərəsāspa belongs to the Sāma family. Θrita is the name of a deity. According to the Zoroastrian holy book, Avesta, Kərəsāspa once stopped on a hill to cook his midday meal. Unbeknownst to Kərəsāspa, the hill was the curved back of a sleeping dragon—the Aži Sruvara; as Kərəsāspa's fire began to crackle merrily, the heat from it caused the dragon to stir from its sleep and overturn the hero's kettle. The startled Kərəsāspa fled, but, on regaining his composure, returned to slay the dragon that had spoilt his lunch. Texts, the Persian Rivayat and Pahlavi Rivayat, add more details. According to them, the Az ī Srūwar was a dragon with horns, with huge eyes and ears, teeth upon which the men it had eaten could be seen impaled, it was so long that Kərəsāspa ran along its back for half a day before he reached its head, struck it with his mace, killed it. Another monster that Kirsāsp fought was Middle Persian Gandarw.

The Gandarw lived in the sea. It was enormous, big enough to swallow twelve provinces in a single gulp, so tall that when it stood up the deep sea reached only to its knee and its head was as high as the sun; the Gandarw pulled Kirsāsp into the ocean, they fought for nine days. At last, Kirsāsp bound it with its own skin. Kirsāsp, weary from the combat, had his companion Axrūrag guard the Gandarw while he slept, but it proved too much for him – the Gandarw dragged Axrūrag and Kirsāsp's family into the sea; when Kirsāsp awakened, he rushed to the sea, freed the captives, killed the Gandarw. The Zoroastrian text called the Sūdgar tells that when the monster Dahāg, now bound in chains on Mount Damāvand, bursts free of his fetters at the end of the world, Kirsāsp will wake from death to destroy Dahāg and save the two thirds of the world that Dahāg has not devoured. Garshāsp received his own poetic treatment at the hands of Asadi Tusi, who wrote a Garshāspnāma about this hero. In the Garshāspnāma, Garshāsp is the son of Esret, the equivalent of the Avestan Θrita, grandson of Sham.

His genealogy goes back through other characters not mentioned in the Avesta: Sham is the son of Tovorg, son of Šēdasp, son of Tur, an illegitimate son of Jamshid by the daughter of Kurang, king of Zābolestān, begotten at the time that Jamshid had been deposed was fleeing from the forces of Zahhāk. Zahhāk reigned for 1000 years, so was still king at the time that Garshāsp was born. On one occasion when Zahhāk was traveling in Zābolestān, he saw Garshāsp and encourages him to slay a dragon that had emerged from the sea and settled on Mt. Šekāvand. Equipped with a special antidote against dragon-poison, armed with special weapons, Garshāsp succeeds in killing the monster. Impressed by the child's prowess, Zahhāk now orders Garshāsp to India, where the king – a vassal of Zahhāk's – has been replaced by a rebel prince, who does not acknowledge Zahhāk's rule. Garshāsp defeats the rebel and stays in India for a while to observe its marvels and engage in philosophical discourse. After returning from India, Garshāsp woos a princess of Rum, restores his father Esret to his throne in Zābol after the king of Kābol defeats him, builds the city of Sistān.

He has further anachronistic adventures in the Mediterranean, fighting in Córdoba. When he returns to Iran, his father dies, Garshāsp becomes king of Zābolestān. Although he has no son of his own, he adopts Narēmān as his heir, who would become Rostam's great-grandfather; the poem ends with another dragon-slaying, followed by Garshāsp's death. Ferdowsi Shahnameh. From the Moscow version. Mohammed Publishing. ISBN 964-5566-35-5 Encyclopedia Iranica, "GARŠĀSP-NĀMA", FRANÇOIS DE BLOIS

Halfdan Wilhelmsen

Halfdan Wilhelmsen was a Norwegian shipowner and consul. Wilhelmsen was born in Tønsberg, the son of the shipowner Wilhelm Wilhelmsen and his wife Catharina Fredrikke Lorentzen. After graduating from business school, he was employed in brokerage and shipowners' offices in England and France. In 1887 he became the co-owner of Wilh. Wilhelmsen, he built this up into the largest shipping company in the Nordic region, he was one of the pioneers in the transition from sailing ships to steamships. Wilhelmsen served as the Danish Consul in Tønsberg. In 1909 he was one of the founders of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association. Among other assignments, Wilhelmsen was Norway's delegate at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and in US government loan negotiations. In 1915 he was appointed knight first class of the Order of St. Olav, he was a knight of the Danish Order of the Dannebrog and the French Legion of Honour. Halfdan Wilhelmsen Avenue in Tønsberg is named after him. In 1891 he married Ragnhild Oppen from Larvik, their daughter Else Werring was born in 1905.

Wilhelmsen died after a short illness in 1923. Den Kongelige norske Sankt Olavs orden 1847–1947, utgitt av ordenskanselliet ved O. Delphin Amundsen.1947. Oslo: Grøndahl & Søns Forlag. Sven A. Solberg. 2001. Halfdan Wilhelmsen. Mannen og striden etter ham. Oslo: Andresen & Butenschøn

Denis d'or

The Denis d’or was, in the broadest sense the first electric musical instrument in history. The Czech theologian Václav Prokop Diviš, who had his parish in the Moravian town Přímětice near Znojmo, was interested in both music and electricity, he studied the use of electricity first for medical and agrarian purposes, for the prevention of thunderstorms. He tried to apply it to music when he created his own musical instrument that he named "Denis d'or", with the French "Denis", whose Czech counterpart is "Diviš"—hence the name; the earliest written mention of the Denis d'or dates from 1753, but it is that it existed around 1748. Some sources date its existence as far back as the year 1730, but this claim is untenable and not supported by any available information on Diviš's biography and work. After Diviš's death in 1765 the unique instrument was sold and brought to Vienna, where it vanished without trace. Surviving descriptions of the Denis d'or are short and few, so that it is not possible to clarify whether it was an electrophone or not.

Diviš has been called the first person to foster the idea of an aesthetic connection between music and electricity. However, Jean-Baptiste Thillaie Delaborde built the clavecin électrique a few years an instrument, much better documented; the Denis d'or was reported to have 14 registers, most of which were twofold, its complex mechanism fitted in a symmetrical wooden cabinet equipped with a keyboard and a pedal. It was about 150 cm long, 90 cm wide, 120 cm high, it was a chordophone not unlike a clavichord—in other words, the strings were struck, not plucked. The suspension and the tautening of the 790 metal strings was described as more elaborate than a clavichord; the mechanism, worked out by Diviš was such that the Denis d’or could imitate the sounds of a variety of other instruments, including chordophones such as harpsichords, harps and wind instruments. This was owing to the responsiveness and combinability of the stops, which permitted the player to vary the sound in multiple ways, thereby generating far more than a hundred different tonal voices altogether.

The novelty instrument produced electric shocks as practical jokes on the player. When the German theologian Johann Ludwig Fricker visited Diviš in 1753 and saw the Denis d'or with his own eyes, he referred to it in a journal of the University of Tübingen as an "Electrisch-Musicalische Instrument"—the literal translation of, "electric musical instrument", it is disputed whether the Denis d'or sounds were produced by electricity or if it was an otherwise acoustical instrument like the clavichord. Diviš could charge the iron strings with electricity in order to enhance the sound quality; this would be a possible explanation for effects that the audience perceived as electric in nature and might have been achieved with Leyden jars or similar equipment used in early research on electricity. Prokop Diviš Memorial Denis D'Or Denis D'Or on 120 Years Of Electronic Music