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Computing Departments at the University of Melbourne, a brief history 1956-1996

Computation laboratory original door, University of Melbourne, 1956 - 64

Image: Computation laboratory original door, University of Melbourne, 1956 - 64

Source: Museum Victoria

The Computation Department of the University of Melbourne was formally established in 1962. Its former name was the Computation Laboratory.  The Laboratory was opened on the 14th June 1956.

The Department, which operated and maintained CSIRAC, provided a computing service to the University in addition to the academic functions of research and teaching.

In 1969 these functions were separated. The computing service was transferred to the newly created Computer Centre and the academic functions were continued in the Department of Information Science within the Science Faculty. Following the appointment of the foundation professor in 1975 the department was renamed the Department of Computer Science. The department transferred to the Faculty of Engineering in 1989 and became the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering in 2000.

The archival material retained when CSIRAC was decommissioned by the Computation Department in 1964 was preserved within the academic Department. The Department of Computer Science was instrumental in 1996 in establishing the project which has resulted in the collection and cataloguing of documents, artefacts and images relating to the CSIR Mk1 (CSIRAC).

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