Nikolay P. Brusentsov powerpoint presentation

Nikolay Petrovich
By: Brianna M. Johnson
Contribution to Computer Science
• He is most famous for having built “Setun,” a
balanced ternary computer with Sergei
Sobolev in 1958. The world’s only ternary
computer built by hand.
Early Life
• Born: Feb. 7, 1925 in Kamenskoe [Ukrainian SSR]
• Family: Father died while young, had a mother
and 2 younger siblings
• Liked to play music, was not that good
• Major Event: World War II in 1940s
• Made to move to Orenburg (South Urals) with his
family and the plant that his mother worked for.
• Worked as a turners apprentice and went to night
Military Career
Drafted into military in February 1943
Worked as a radio operator
Assigned to 154th infantry
Received the medal of honor and the Order
of the Red Star for his combat services
• Graduated from the 10th division with
excellent marks in 1947
Mid-life and Sobolev
• Finished the Radio Department of the
Moscow Energy Institute in 1953
– Created tables of diffraction on an elliptical
• Took a job at Moscow University with Sergei
• With Sergei and a team, Nikolay began
work to build a computer for lab use in the
– This computer had to be smaller for lab use,
cost, and reliability.
The beginning of Setun
• Nikolay was appointed head over the new
computer build.
• This computer would have a binary system of
calculation on magnetic elements
– Not Tubes!
• Nikolay decided to make a change and use a
trinary/ternary (0,1,2 instead of just 0,1) system
for his calculations.
– Allowed him to use less elements (save money)
• It also used a magnetic drum for paging and twolevel memory.
The beginning of Setun
• After hearing of Nikolay’s intentions of creating a
computer using a ternary system, Sergei hired
several assistants for the project
• In 1958, Nikolay’s team assembled the first model
of the trinary computer with their own hands.
Setun and Setun 70
• The computer was named after the river “Setun”
near Moscow University.
• The Setun model was ordered to be mass
produced by the SSR Cabinet of Ministers by the
Kazan Mathematical Machines plant.
– Although no interest kept up production of this
ternary computer
• In 1961-1968 Nikolay and Zhogolev improved
Setun and called it Setun 70
– Setun 70 had a two-stake architecture and used POLIS
or Polish inverse notation
Continuation of Modification of
Setun 70
• 1971- Edsger Dijkstra: modified the basis of
structured programming
– This helped Setun’s procedural language
– Setun 70 now had a Dialog System of Structured
Programming (DSSP)
– After the creation of Setun 70,
Nikolay’s Laboratory was driven
out of the MSU building.
The End of Setun’s Era
• This caused the original Setun to be
– Setun had operated consistently for 17 years.
– It was taken to a garbage dump after it had been
cut into small pieces.
• Setun 70 would be was saved for the
university attic
– It was used for the creation
of Nastavik.
The rest of his life
• 89 years old
• Manages the computer laboratory of the
Computing Mathematics and Cybernetics
Department at Moscow State University
• Nikolay published over 100 scientific works
• Created 11 inventions
• Awarded the Sign of Honor Order, the Large Gold
Medal of the Soviet Union National Exhibition,
and the Laureate fo the USSR Council of

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