Standing Ovation: Dartmouth Ingenuity

Dartmouth has fostered innovation and open idea sharing for decades, and discoveries by students, faculty, staff, and alumni influence the world and make way for progress in the sciences, arts, education, and other areas of human ingenuity.

Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC), born 1964 @ Dartmouth:

People ask, "Why didnʼt you copyright or patent protect or trademark BASIC?" Well, it wouldn't have been used if we did that. Nobody would have used it ... [IBM] wanted to make BASIC for one of their time-sharing systems -- early versions -- and we said, "Fine." They took our manual and they did it exactly, including what we regarded as mistakes. [Laughter] We said, "Fine. All you have to do is give us credit in the front of your manual."  Now if we had tried to protect BASIC in any way, trademark or anything like that, none of that would have happened.

-- From an interview with Thomas E. Kurtz, conducted by Daniel Daily in Hanover, NH, on June 20, 2002.

Tanzer Ear Flap: An Innovative Reconstructive Method for the External Ear:

A. I wrote up the two cases and sent the paper to Dr. Jerome Webster, with whom I had trained, to see what he thought of it. He replied: "You've got a ten-strike.  Send it in to Bob Ivy." (Bob was the editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the time.) The cases were reported in 1958 at the American Society meeting in Chicago.

Q. What was the reception of the report?

A. It was quite favorable (laughter). It gave me the courage to go on.

Q. Isn’t that a little understated, Dr. Tanzer? Wasn’t it a standing ovation?

A. I think you are right.

-- From an Interview with Radford C. Tanzer in 1983, conducted by William D. Morain.


Next: "A Walk Beyond the Woods"


Oral history interview with Thomas E. Kurtz, 2002

Thomas E. Kurtz, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Emeritus: An Interview Conducted by Daniel Daily. Hanover, NH, June 20, 2002.

Medical School Faculty, Formal Groups

 Medical School Faculty group portrait, 1959-60.

Eye Institute

Combination Lenses from the Dartmouth Eye Institute.