Did you know that in 1945 the world was introduced to the first ever electronic general purpose computer (the supercomputer of its day). It was a project jointly completed by the Ballistic Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) and the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. The machine was called the ENIAC and weighed 30 tons and was comprised of 18,000 vacuum tubes. Since 1946 at the BRL and through today at the Army Research Laboratory, supercomputers have been and are integral to many modern technologies, such as weather forecasting, which requires analysis of millions of data points that together make weather forecasting a more accurate science.
Check out the video “What is a Supercomputer” on YouTube.
Excellent write-up of the birth of computing and the ENIAC here on the website of the Computer History Museum, which is located in Mountain View, CA.
Also read about the history of computing at the Army Research Lab on the US Army web site. Imagine! The computer in your pocket or purse can be traced back to the Army’s need to calculate and improve the accuracy of ballistics testing.