Grier, David Alan 1955-

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Grier, David Alan 1955-


Born February 14, 1955, in Chicago, IL; son of Thomas (in business) and Joan (a homemaker) Grier; married Jean Heilman (an attorney), March, 1986. Education: Middlebury College, B.A., 1978; University of Washington, Seattle, Ph.D., 1986.


Home—Washington, DC. Office—Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, 1957 E St. N.W., Washington, DC 20052.


Burroughs Corp., staff member at locations in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, between 1977 and 1984; George Washington University, Washington, DC, faculty member, 1986—.


Award for best computer book of the year, Independent Book Publishers, 2006, for When Computers Were Human.


When Computers Were Human, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2005.

Columnist for Computer, 2006—. Contributor to periodicals, including Christian Science Monitor, Chance, Endeavor, American Mathematical Monthly, and Washington Post. Editor, Annals of the History of Computing, 2004—.


David Alan Grier told CA: "I write stories about people who are involved in technology, particularly the people who are forgotten or overlooked. These are people, usually skilled and talented, who saw technology as a means of advancing themselves and were often surprised by the results of their work. The best example of this kind of story is the one about my own grandmother, a story that is in the preface of When Computers Were Human. She thought that mathematics would give her the skills to live the life of a liberated woman. However, by the time I knew her, she had left those skills behind and communicated nothing of her scientific training to her family. It was a hidden life that she held dear."