Johanna (Hansi) Piesch

Born June 6, 1898, Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria, died September 28, 1992, Vienna, Austria, one of the earliest authors on the subject of switching algebra; after Shannon but prior to Russian pioneers who often quoted her work.

Johanna Piesch had never been loud, and now she has left us in total silence at the biblical age of 94. She never published an autobiography, or even talked about herself She was one of the earliest authors on switching algebra, and she appears as such in the international literature on the subject.

Johanna (Hansi) Piesch studied physics at the University of Vienna and then joined the Austrian PTT service. Her first publications were written in Berlin in 1938 (where she had been moved by the German administration), the second of which proposes an original simplification method. After World War II she expanded on her thesis, and then in cooperation with H. Sequenz, then head of the Vienna University of Technology, on the history of the switching algebra in Austria.

After her retirement, Piesch turned to social work and gave 30 years of service to others. She died on September 28, 1992, in a Vienna hospital. [From Zemanek 1993.]



Zemanek, Heinz, "Johanna Piesch," Ann. Hist. Comp., Vol. 15, No. 3, 1993, p. 72.

Significant Publications

Piesch, H., "Begriff der Allgerneinen Schaltungstechnik (Concept of General Switching Theory)," Archiv für Elektrotechnik, Vol. 33, 1939, pp. 672-686.

Piesch, H., "Über die Vereinfachung von Allgeneinen Schaltungen (On the Simplification of General Switching Circuits)," Archiv fürElektrotechnik, Vol. 33, 1939,pp.733-746.

Piesch, H., "Systematik der Autornatischen Schaltung (Systematics of Automatic Switching)," OFT, Vol. 5, 195 1, pp. 2-43.

Piesch, H., "Die Matrix in der Schaltungsalebgra zur Planung Relaisgesteuerter Netzwerke (Matrices in Switching Algebra for the Design of Relay Controlled Networks)," Archiv für elektrische Übertragung, Vol. 9, 1955, pp. 460-468.

Piesch, H., "Beitrdge zur Modernen Schaltalgebra (Contributions to Modern Switching Algebra)," Conference in Como, 1956, pp. 16-25.

Piesch, H., and H. Sequenz, "Die Österreichischen Wegbereiter der Theorie der Elektrischen Schaltungen (The Austrian Pioneers of the Theory of Electrical Switching)," Elecktrotechnik & Maschinenbau, Vol. 75, 1958, pp. 241-245.

PDF version

Original content Copyright © 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
New content Copyright © 2013-2021 by the IEEE Computer Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or redistributed without the express written permission of the copyright holder.