“Computer Science in French Universities: Early Entrants and Latecomers”, Information & Culture: A Journal of History, vol. 47, n° 4, Nov.-Dec. 2012, p. 414-456.

Title“Computer Science in French Universities: Early Entrants and Latecomers”, Information & Culture: A Journal of History, vol. 47, n° 4, Nov.-Dec. 2012, p. 414-456.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsMounier-Kuhn, P
JournalInformation & Culture: A Journal of History
Volume47
Issue4
Start Page414
Pagination42
Date Published12/2012
Abstract

How do new disciplines develop in certain universities more than in others? The history of computing in France suggests a model to describe the development process that shapes the geography of science. In the 1950s a few professors of numerical analysis, often associated with a school of electrical engineering, created threefold structures comprising courses in applied mathematics, a computing facility, and a research laboratory. Such local configurations initiated a cumulative development process, attracting more resources and opening the field to novel investigations in computer science. In other universities, these configurations were not completed, and computing remained confined to technical training. In the 1960s pioneers became leaders in the growing field and controlled the definition of computer science curricula. As the institutes they had created reached considerable size, these leaders began to spin off junior professors toward other universities. The "early entrant" centers remain major academic institutions in the discipline today.

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