General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


What was MANIAC?

MANIAC (mathematical analyzer, numerator, integrator, and computer) was built at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory under the direction of Nicholas C. Metropolis (1915–1999) between 1948 and 1952. It was one of several different copies of the high-speed computer built by John von Neumann (1903–1957) for the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS). It was constructed primarily for use in the development of atomic energy applications, specifically the hydrogen bomb.

It originated with the work on ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer), the first fully operational, large-scale, electronic digital computer. ENIAC was built at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania between 1943 and 1946. Its builders, John Presper Eckert Jr. (1919–1995) and John William Mauchly (1907–1980), virtually launched the modern era of the computer with ENIAC.


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