SRI International is an American nonprofit scientific research institute and organization headquartered in Menlo Park, California. The trustees of Stanford University established SRI in 1946 as a center of innovation to support economic development in the region; the organization was founded as the Stanford Research Institute. SRI formally separated from Stanford University in 1970 and became known as SRI International in 1977. SRI performs client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, private foundations, it licenses its technologies, forms strategic partnerships, sells products, creates spin-off companies. SRI's annual revenue in 2014 was $540 million. SRI's headquarters are located near the Stanford University campus. William A. Jeffrey has served as SRI's president and CEO since September 2014. SRI employs about 2,100 people. Sarnoff Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of SRI since 1988, was integrated into SRI in January 2011. SRI's focus areas include biomedical sciences and materials, computing and space systems, economic development and learning, energy and environmental technology and national defense, as well as sensing and devices.
SRI has received more than 4,000 patent applications worldwide. In the 1920s, Stanford University professor Robert E. Swain proposed creating a research institute in the Western United States. Herbert Hoover a trustee of Stanford University, was an early proponent of an institute, but became less involved with the project after he was elected president of the United States; the development of the institute was delayed by the Great Depression in the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s, with three separate attempts leading to its formation in 1946. In August 1945, Maurice Nelles, Morlan A. Visel, Ernest L. Black of Lockheed made the first attempt to create the institute with the formation of the "Pacific Research Foundation" in Los Angeles. A second attempt was made by Henry T. Heald president of the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1945, Heald wrote a report recommending a research institute on the West Coast and a close association with Stanford University with an initial grant of $500,000.
A third attempt was made by Stanford University's dean of engineering. Terman's proposal followed Heald's, but focused on faculty and student research more than contract research; the trustees of Stanford University voted to create the organization in 1946. It was structured so that its goals were aligned with the charter of the university—to advance scientific knowledge and to benefit the public at large, not just the students of Stanford University; the trustees were named as the corporation's general members, elected SRI's directors. Research chemist William F. Talbot became the first director of the institute. Stanford University president Donald Tresidder instructed Talbot to avoid work that would conflict with the interests of the university federal contracts that might attract political pressure; the drive to find work and the lack of support from Stanford faculty caused the new research institute to violate this directive six months through the pursuit of a contract with the Office of Naval Research.
This and other issues, including frustration with Tresidder's micromanagement of the new organization, caused Talbot to offer his resignation, which Tresidder accepted. Talbot was replaced by Jesse Hobson, who had led the Armour Research Foundation, but the pursuit of contract work remained. SRI's first research project investigated whether the guayule plant could be used as a source of natural rubber. During World War II, rubber was imported into the U. S. and was subject to strict rationing. From 1942 to 1946, the United States Department of Agriculture supported a project to create a domestic source of natural rubber. Once the war ended, the United States Congress cut funding for the program. SRI's first economic study was for the United States Air Force. In 1947, the Air Force wanted to determine the expansion potential of the U. S. aircraft industry. In 1948, SRI began research and consultation with Chevron Corporation to develop an artificial substitute for tallow and coconut oil in soap production.
Procter & Gamble used the substance as the basis for Tide laundry detergent. The institute performed much of the early research on air pollution and the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere. SRI sponsored the First National Air Pollution Symposium in Pasadena, California, in November 1949. Experts gave presentations on pollution research, exchanged ideas and techniques, stimulated interest in the field; the event was attended by 400 scientists, business executives, civic leaders from the U. S. SRI co-sponsored subsequent events on the subject. In April 1953, Walt and Roy Disney hired SRI to consult on their proposal for establishing an amusement park in Burbank, California. SRI provided information on location, attendance patterns, economic feasibility. SRI selected a larger site in Anaheim, prepared reports about operation, provided on-site administrative support for Disneyland and acted in an advisory role as the park expanded. In 1955, SRI was c
Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. It enables the use of algorithms to manipulate and communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the practice of designing software systems, its fields can be divided into practical disciplines. Computational complexity theory is abstract, while computer graphics emphasizes real-world applications. Programming language theory considers approaches to the description of computational processes, while computer programming itself involves the use of programming languages and complex systems. Human–computer interaction considers the challenges in making computers useful and accessible; the earliest foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks such as the abacus have existed since antiquity, aiding in computations such as multiplication and division.
Algorithms for performing computations have existed since antiquity before the development of sophisticated computing equipment. Wilhelm Schickard designed and constructed the first working mechanical calculator in 1623. In 1673, Gottfried Leibniz demonstrated a digital mechanical calculator, called the Stepped Reckoner, he may be considered the first computer scientist and information theorist, among other reasons, documenting the binary number system. In 1820, Thomas de Colmar launched the mechanical calculator industry when he released his simplified arithmometer, the first calculating machine strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. Charles Babbage started the design of the first automatic mechanical calculator, his Difference Engine, in 1822, which gave him the idea of the first programmable mechanical calculator, his Analytical Engine, he started developing this machine in 1834, "in less than two years, he had sketched out many of the salient features of the modern computer".
"A crucial step was the adoption of a punched card system derived from the Jacquard loom" making it infinitely programmable. In 1843, during the translation of a French article on the Analytical Engine, Ada Lovelace wrote, in one of the many notes she included, an algorithm to compute the Bernoulli numbers, considered to be the first computer program. Around 1885, Herman Hollerith invented the tabulator, which used punched cards to process statistical information. In 1937, one hundred years after Babbage's impossible dream, Howard Aiken convinced IBM, making all kinds of punched card equipment and was in the calculator business to develop his giant programmable calculator, the ASCC/Harvard Mark I, based on Babbage's Analytical Engine, which itself used cards and a central computing unit; when the machine was finished, some hailed it as "Babbage's dream come true". During the 1940s, as new and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors.
As it became clear that computers could be used for more than just mathematical calculations, the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general. In 1945, IBM founded the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University in New York City; the renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West Side was IBM's first laboratory devoted to pure science. The lab is the forerunner of IBM's Research Division, which today operates research facilities around the world; the close relationship between IBM and the university was instrumental in the emergence of a new scientific discipline, with Columbia offering one of the first academic-credit courses in computer science in 1946. Computer science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1950s and early 1960s; the world's first computer science degree program, the Cambridge Diploma in Computer Science, began at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in 1953. The first computer science degree program in the United States was formed at Purdue University in 1962.
Since practical computers became available, many applications of computing have become distinct areas of study in their own rights. Although many believed it was impossible that computers themselves could be a scientific field of study, in the late fifties it became accepted among the greater academic population, it is the now well-known IBM brand that formed part of the computer science revolution during this time. IBM released the IBM 704 and the IBM 709 computers, which were used during the exploration period of such devices. "Still, working with the IBM was frustrating if you had misplaced as much as one letter in one instruction, the program would crash, you would have to start the whole process over again". During the late 1950s, the computer science discipline was much in its developmental stages, such issues were commonplace. Time has seen significant improvements in the effectiveness of computing technology. Modern society has seen a significant shift in the users of computer technology, from usage only by experts and professionals, to a near-ubiquitous user base.
Computers were quite costly, some degree of humanitarian aid was needed for efficient use—in part from professional computer operators. As computer adoption became more widespread and affordable, less human assistance was needed for common usage. Despite its short history as a formal academic discipline, computer science has made a number of fundamental contributions to science and society—in fact, along with electronics, it is