Memoriam Details

  • Fred Fender
  • Birth / Death: 1908-1976
  • Profile Image

Fred Fender joined Rutgers Department of Mathematics in 1936 and was an early adopter of the "computer", although it hardly resembled the technology that we know today.  In 1954, Fender installed the first machine of its type at Rutgers, a wired plugboard accounting machine which could read punched cards, installed in the basement of Ballantine Hall (part of the Zimmerli Museum since 1983).  In 1957 the first stored-program computer at Rutgers - an IBM 650 computer - was installed in the basement of Hegeman Hall, a dormitory. Fred Fender operated it and informally called its room the Computation Center. The "Center" was entirely contained within the Mathematics Department.  During this time, Fender taught "Computer Programming and Numerical Methods", nearly six years before the establishment of the Computer Science Department.  Fender remained with the department until his retirement in 1974.

*Photo courtesy of R-Bio Faculty Collection. Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries