Hugh Folk ILLIAC IV Debate Tapes (Digital Surrogates) | University of Illinois Archives

Hugh Folk ILLIAC IV Debate Tapes (Digital Surrogates)

The Hugh Folk ILLIAC IV Debate Tapes (February-March 1970) contain interviews with students and staff relating to the debates surrounding the involvement of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) in the funding of the ILLIAC IV project. Hugh Folk, a professor of Economics and Labor and Industrial Relations, created and mediated these interviews. Interviewees include Carl Schwartz and John Huntley of the Daily Illini; Saul Wax, freshman in Liberal Arts and Sciences; Elizabeth Waldron and Mike Real of the Educational Policy Committee; and research programmers David Groethe and Gary Grossman.

In January of 1970, the Daily Illini revealed that the ILLIAC IV project—which involved the creation of the Center of Advanced Computation—was receiving funding from the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA). In return for funding the project, ARPA (an agency of the DoD) would have two-thirds of the time allotted for use of the supercomputer for projects of their choosing. The university would have the remaining one-third time for its own projects. The Daily Illini saw the DOD’s use of ILLIAC IV and university resources as a moral issue and claimed that Daniel Slotnick, project director, and Daniel Alpert, dean of the Graduate College, intentionally wrote the project proposal in a way to confuse the Senate Committee on Educational Policy and hide the DOD’s involvement with the project

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