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Document Details


Title: Philip Thompson
Local code: OH 125
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Charles Babbage Institute
Collection: Charles Babbage Institute Oral History Program
Description: Thompson describes his career in numerical meteorology. He discusses attitudes of the early 1940s, including those of Victor Starr and Jules Charney, towards the work of L. F. Richardson and the possibilities of predicting the weather numerically. He describes the Numerical Meteorology Project at the Institute for Advanced Study and the roles of Charney and John von Neumann in that project, partly from his first-hand experience there in 1946-47. Next he recounts the activities of the meteorology research group he organized at the Cambridge Air Force Research Center and the calculations they did in the early 1950s on electromechanical calculators and on an IBM 701. He describes the establishment of the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit in Washington, and his work there from its founding in 1954 until 1958. Thompson discusses the U.S. Air Force research center he established in Sweden in association with the work being conducted at the Institute of Meteorology at the University of Stockholm. He then recalls how he left Stockholm in 1960 to become associate director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. His interview concludes with some general comments about recent research in numerical meteorology and the revolutionary impact of the computer on meteorology.
Extent: 31 pages
URL: http://www.cbi.umn.edu/oh/pdf.phtml?id=267
Original Language: English
Time span: Not indicated ... to 1986 (Year of interview)
Speaker: Thompson, Philip Duncan
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker occupation: Electrical engineer
Document location: Boulder, CO
Document date: 05-Dec-1986
Interviewer: Aspray, William
Locations discussed: North America; United States
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Computer software; Electric engineering; Engineering; Information technology; North America; Oral history; Software engineering; United States
Topics discussed - Other terms: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0024052-25600