Retracing and assessing the CEP project

by   Giovanni A. Cignoni, et al.

The last decade witnessed a renewed interest in the development of the Italian computer industry and in the role of the Fifties pioneers in Rome, Milan, Ivrea, and Pisa. The aim of the paper is to retrace some steps of the CEP project, carried out by the University of Pisa in collaboration with Olivetti, by reassessing the documents preserved in the University archives. The project was a seminal enterprise for Italy, and among its accomplishments it delivered in 1957 the first Italian computer. The mix of public sector funding and industrial foretelling witnessed by the project is one of the leading examples in Italy of best practices, and its success paved the way for the birth of Computer Science in the country as an industry as well as a scientific discipline.



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