Galler, Bernard A., 1928-

Alternative names
Birth 1928-10-03
Death 2006-09-04

Biographical notes:

University of Michigan professor of mathematics, charter member of the department of computer and communication sciences (which later merged into the department of electrical engineering and computer science.)

From the description of Bernard A. Galler papers, 1956-1994 (bulk 1960-1986) (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 78061100

Computer scientist.

From the description of Oral history interview with Bernard A. Galler, 1991 Aug. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63283824

Bernard A. Galler received a B.S. in Mathematics and a Ph.B. in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago in 1946 and 1947. He earned a M.A. in Mathematics from the University of California in 1949 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1955. He joined the University of Michigan Department of Mathematics in 1955 as an instructor; he was promoted to assistant professor in 1959, associate professor in 1962, and professor in 1966.

Galler was a pioneer in the field of computer science, helping to shape this discipline at the University of Michigan. In the early 1960s, he was active in the development of the new Communications Sciences Program, and in 1966, he became associate director of the Computing Center. His association with the center continued through 1991. He became a charter member of the new Department of Computer and Communication Sciences in 1966 and served as its chair from 1973 to 1975. In 1984, Galler was instrumental in negotiating the merger of the CCS department and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Galler also contributed to the University of Michigan's many innovations in the computer field. From 1958 onward, the Computing Center of the University of Michigan was a leader in the development of general-purpose, highly-productive operating systems. In the mid-1950s MIDSAC and MIDAC computers built at the Willow Run Laboratory were among the first computers built and used at universities in the U.S. The MAD (Michigan Algorithm Decoder) translator, created around 1960 and used by the entire campus for a number of years, contained innovative language features which were introduced much later into popular, high-level languages.

Galler also served the wider university community as Associate Dean for Long Range Planning in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts from 1975 to 1979. He served on many university-wide committees and task forces and, in addition, served as undergraduate counselor for the computer science degree program for many years. Very active professionally, Galler was president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) from 1968 to 1970 and was active in the American Federation of Information Processing SOcieties (AFIPS). He received the AFIPS and ACM Distinguished Services Awards. In 1994, Galler retired from active faculty status after 38 years of service.

From the guide to the Bernard A. Galler Papers, 1956-1994, 1960-1986, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)


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  • Student movements--History
  • BITNET (Computer network)
  • Amdahl computers
  • CSNET (Computer network)
  • Computers--Study and teaching
  • Time-sharing computer systems
  • Computer software--Patents
  • Computer science
  • Electronic data processing consultants
  • IBM computers
  • Computer networks
  • ARPANET (Computer network)
  • MERIT (Computer network)
  • Computer science--Study and teaching (Higher)


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