Samuel N. Alexander

Samuel N. Alexander
Wharton, TX, USA
Associated organizations
Fields of study
National Bureau of Standards, MIT, Simplex Wire and Cable Company


Samuel N. Alexander (IRE Associate, 1944; Member, 1955; Senior Member, 1955; and Fellow, 1956) was born in Wharton, Texas, on 22 February 1910. He received both the A.B. degree in physics and the B.S. degree in electrical engineering, in 1931, from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and was awarded a Tau Beta Pi Fellowship for graduate studies. In 1933, he received the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he continued his doctoral work under a Coffin Foundation Research Fellowship, in 1934.

From 1935 to 1940, Alexander worked as a Laboratory Engineer for the Simplex Wire and Cable Company, Cambridge, and during 1939 and 1940 was a Research Assistant at M.I.T. During the era of World War II, from 1940 to 1943, he was a Physicist with the Navy Department working on electronic instrumentation and from 1943 to 1946 was Senior Project Engineer with Bendix Aviation Corporation, Towson, Maryland, working on development of military telemetering equipment.

In 1946, Alexander joined the staff of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), Washington, D.C., As Chief of the Electronic Computers Laboratory he was engaged in the development of digital computer technology and had over-all supervision of the design and construction of SEAC and DYSEAC. In 1954, he became Chief of the Data-Processing Systems Division of NBS. This activity grew out of the earlier computer development program. By 1962 this activity included the application of digital techniques to data processing and information storage and retrieval and the application of combined analog and digital techniques to automatic instrumentation and dynamic control systems.

Alexander was a Fellow of the IRE and a member of the AIEE. He was also a member of the ACM, the American Physical Society, the American Documentation Institute, the Washington Academy of Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Tau. In 1956, he received a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering Science, Stockholm, Sweden.