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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. She is now an assistant professor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. 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.

My niece, Heather Goldman, is president of Capstak, a commercial real estate platform.

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 Friday, 23-Sep-2016 14:11:53 CDT.

David Wilson / dwilson@cae.wisc.edu