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J. C. R. Licklider

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I came to MIT from Harvard University, where I was a lecturer. I had been at the Harvard Psychoacoustic Laboratory during World War II and stayed on at Harvard as a lecturer, mainly doing research, but also a little bit of teaching—statistics and physiological psychology—subjects like that.
Then there came a time that I thought that I had better go pay attention to my career. I had just been having a marvelous time there. I am not a good looker for jobs; I just came to the nearest place I could, which was in our city. I arranged to come down here and start up a psychology section, which we hoped would eventually become a psychology department. For the purposes of having a base of some kind I was in the Electrical Engineering Department. I even taught a little bit of electrical engineering.
I fell in love with the summer study process that MIT had. They had one on undersea warfare and overseas transport—a thing called Project Hartwell. I really liked that. It was getting physicists, mathematicians—everybody who could contribute—to work very intensively for a period of two or three months. After Hartwell there was a project called Project Charles, which was actually two years long (two summers and the time in between). It was on air defense. I was a member of that study. They needed one psychologist and 20 physicists. That led to the creation of the Lincoln Laboratory. It got started immediately as the applied section of the Research Laboratory for Electronics, which was already a growing concern at MIT.
Licklider in: "An Interview with J. C. R. LICKLIDER" conducted by William Aspray and Arthur Norberg on 28 October 1988, Cambridge, MA

J. C. R. Licklider

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