Born May 7, 1926, Chelsea, Mass.; died March 28, 1985, White Plains, N. Y; computer manager who used his talents and corporate resources for the benefit of the community.
Education: BS, University of Massachusetts (Amherst), 1949; MA, Syracuse University, 1951; PhD, mathematics, Syracuse University, 1953.
Professional Experience: instructor, mathematics, Syracuse University, 1952-1953; IBM Corp.: Applied Science representative, 1953-1956, manager, Mathematics and Applications Department, 1956-1958, Market Development Department, 1958-1959, market analyst, 1959-1961, systems engineer, 1961-1962, scientific computing, 1963-1965, manager, Systems Development, 1965-1969, director, Standards and Systems Evaluation, 1969-1972, Standards and Systems Analysis, 1972-1975, director, Science Centers, 1975-1982, director, University Relations, 1982-1985.
A longtime IBM employee, "Lou" Robinson made significant impacts in several areas as he traveled through the corporation. He was among the first to advocate the use of computers for statistical modeling and simulation in business applications. Also sensitive to the human side of information processing, he was responsible for the application of computers to Braille translation. He managed the original NASA Vanguard satellite tracking project for IBM, and he advised government groups on privacy and security legislation relating to computers. As director of standards and systems evaluation, he represented IBM in the American National Standards Institute committee X3 (Information Processing), encouraging the development of industry-wide standards. During his last assignment as director of University Relations, he provided a strong interface between IBM and university computer programs.
"The computer is a tool for the realization of ideas, and it carries with it a challenge for all of us. We have started to change the way people work, the way people live, the way people think.... The challenge for us is to learn how to apply information-processing machines so that they are used to improve the human condition in different ways." (1983 EDUCOM Annual Conference)
Anon., "Louis Robinson," Perspectives in Computing, IBM, White Plains, N.Y., 1985, p. 48.
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