Supercomputer Pioneer David R. Miller Dies at 82

April 4, 2009

DENVER, April 4 /PRNewswire/ — David R. Miller, a pioneer in scientific computer design and supercomputer development, died March 30th in Parker, CO, at the age of 82. Mr. Miller, founder of Comcor, Inc., and Denelcor, Inc., designed and built cutting-edge analog and digital computer systems at the height of the cold war and early years of space exploration for such organizations as NASA, National Security Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, as well as the academic and scientific communities. Denelcor built the world’s first commercially available supercomputer with parallel processing capabilities.

Born on September 28, 1926, David Miller grew up on a depression-era farm in an Amish and Mennonite community near Somerset, Pennsylvania. He entered college at 16, working his way through school as a meat cutter. He earned a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Physical Science from Goshen College and then an M.A. degree in Mathematics from University of Denver. His early work experience encompassed six years as a computer scientist with Bendix, Denver Research Institute, and with Beckman Instruments as Chief of the Berkeley Computer Laboratory.

In 1957, Mr. Miller joined Colorado Research Corporation as head of the computer laboratory. In 1959, he founded Comcor Inc., a manufacturer of large-scale analog and hybrid computers. Comcor grew to become the world’s second largest supplier of these types of computers and the company was sold to Astrodata, a California aerospace contractor. Mr. Miller left Comcor in 1967 and returned to Colorado where, in January 1968, he founded Denelcor, Inc. In 1973, at the request of NASA, Denelcor began development of a parallel processor supercomputer which became the company’s principle product. The HEP (Heterogeneous Element Processor) was the first commercially available multi-instruction, multi-data stream (MIMD) parallel processor system.

Denelcor installed its computer systems for the National Security Agency, the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, the Army’s Ballistics Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, and Messerschmitt of Germany. Other installations included Boeing, Martin Marietta, Purdue University, and General Electric.

Mr. Miller left the full time management of Denelcor in 1981 to become active in venture capital, becoming one of the five founding general partners of the Columbine Venture Fund. Since 1985 Mr. Miller has engaged in teaching and consulting.

Mr. Miller was a member of the Society for Computer Simulation and served for a time as president of that group. During the period of his technical involvement, Mr. Miller authored many technical papers and often appeared as a speaker at conferences and symposia. He held two U. S. patents and is a former member of the Colorado Governor’s Small Business Council.

He enjoyed classical music, the mountains, and deep-sea fishing. He loved his family.

David Miller is survived by his wife, Mitzie; three children, Karen, Tina, and Steven; one grandchild, Nathan; three brothers, Allen, Jim, and Sam; and one sister, Doris.

SOURCE Steve Miller

Source: newswire

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