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David L. Wilson       Waisman Center Room 446
Cell: 608/698/7211    1500 Highland Ave.; Madison, WI 53705

After retiring in June of 2011, I now work at the University of Wisconsin-Madision as a computer programmer at the Waisman Center (40% time) and at CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering, 5% time). I grew up in Milwaukee (Pulaski High School). My degrees are B.S. in "Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics" from UW-Milwaukee in '65; M.S. in Math from UW-Milwaukee '66; M.S. in Computer Sciences from UW-Madison '67; and "all but dissertation" in Computer Sciences from UW-Madison. I first worked at CAE (then called the Engineering Computing Lab) in '66. From '67 through '69 I served in the Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey. I taught calculus and programming at METU (Middle East Technical University) there. I started working for the Waisman Center in '74 and have worked the two half time jobs until my retirement.

During the 1970 TAA (Teaching Assistants Association, AFT, AFL-CIO) strike, I decided to just picket rather than strike. I was on their executive committee as the Engineering area representative. I was back in Turkey for the summer of 1970 writing a student records system for METU at the time of the Sterling Hall bombing. Still pro-union, I dropped my membership in the UFAS (United Faculty and Academic Staff, AFT, AFL-CIO) to save money and joined the unaffiliated WUU (Wisconsin University Union) and MASA (Madison Academic Staff Association). Still a socialist, I dropped my membership in the Socialist Party, USA in 1994. On the other hand, I own stock--my first purchase was Computer Science Corp. in 1974. I have been an entrepreneur, selling an early Macintosh spelling checker through a partnership called "Champion Swiftware."

I have never drunk (alcohol that is) and never smoked. Sometime during the 70s, I gave up eating red meat because mammals are relatively intelligent animals. Thus, for me, pork is not the "other white meat." In 1996, I give up caffeine due to an irregular heart beat. Even though I play sheepshead (the German card game schafkopf) regularly, I do not gamble. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2008. As a result, I'm exercising more than ever.

My wife, Ann (married '71) has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from UW. She retired from being the director of Wingra School in Madison (an independent progressive K-8 school) in 1998. She then taught a Children's Literature course at Edgewood College until 2009. We have two daughters, Sonja (born 1978) and Lydia (born 1981). Lydia is a National Merit scholar and has a Ph.D. in Eastern African Historical Archeology from the University of Virginia after graduating Summa Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr. She married Adam Marshall. They made a special trip to Japan for the ceremony even though neither had any connection to the country. She and Adam have twins born in June of 2011. Sonja was a National Merit finalist and All-State Scholar, finished 2.5 years at Bard College and then graduated from Edgewood College. Sonja married Timothy Tatro in June 2007 at our house. Ann and I are Quakers, even though Ann and I were both Unitarians in our youth.

At home we have Macintosh computers. My first computer was an S100 bus system I built from a kit from the now defunct Digital Group. We owned a Lisa computer from 1984 to 1999, which we ran as a Macintosh.

I first started programming in 1963 at UW-Milwaukee. We had an IBM 1620.

            IBM 1620
Memory     0.01 Megabtyes

Disk       None--everything loaded from cards each time

Speed      Slow.  About 100 instructions per second.

Input      Indirect--punch cards on a keypunch and feed into
            computer's card reader

Printing   Indirect--computer punched cards which were listed by
            a tabulating machine

Display    Typewriter

Editing    Off-line--update cards in the input card deck

Cost       $500,000 in 1995 dollars

Size       Pickup truck
Programming the IBM 1620 was bizarre by today's standards.

On the Web, I maintain the College Football Performance Rating System, the College Football World Wide Web Site and the Dot-and-Boxes Analysis Site.


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Last update Monday, 10-Dec-2012 08:03:01 CST.

David Wilson / dwilson@cae.wisc.edu