Jeffrey R. Yost, Ph.D.

Jeffrey R. Yost, Ph.D., Director

211 Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
tel: 612.624.5050
yostx003@umn.edu

Current and Recently Completed Research 

My primary areas of research are the business, social, and cultural and intellectual history of computing. I am also a highly experienced science and technology oral history specialist.

My current research includes a history of computer security book I am currently writing under contract with MIT Press. I also have deep interest in political economy, and societal implications of computing structuring and use. With this, I am especially interested in user experiences, power imbalances with regard to race, class, gender, and the environment. This was the impetus to my conception of and co-organization (with Gerardo Con Diaz) of our Fall 2020 Symposium “Just Code: Power, Inequality, and the Global Political Economy of IT.” I have also begun to do research on the history of cognitive science and Human Computer Interaction, doing archival research and oral histories in this area.

I published Making IT Work: A History of the Computer Services Industry (MIT Press, 2017), FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World (w/ Thomas Misa; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), Computer: A History of the Information Machine, 3rd Edition (w/ Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, and Nathan Ensmenger; Westview, 2014), and three earlier books.

On the editorial front, I was a past Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (2008-2012), and in 2015 and 2016 guest edited two computer security special issues for this journal. I also am on the editorial board of the Annals as well as Information & Culture. I co-lead/co-edit the Springer History of Computing Book Series (w/ Gerard Alberts).

I have been very active in sponsored research and have been an investigator on more than a half dozen sponsored research projects, mostly for the National Science Foundation, but also for the Department of Energy and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Cumulative I have led/co-led more than $2,000,000 in projects as an investigator.

Brief Curriculum Vitae

Education
Ph.D., History of Technology and Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1998.

M.A., History of Technology and Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1993.

M.B.A., Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, 2007.

B.A., Magna Cum Laude, History, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1990.

 

Professional Positions

  • Director, Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Technology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2018 to present.
  • Associate Director, Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Technology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1998 to 2018.
  • Researcher, Center for Regional Economic Issues, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 1997-1998.
  • Consulting Historian, Winthrop Group, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1994-1997.

 

Concurrent Professional Positions

  • Faculty, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2010 to present (Research Professor 2019 to present).
  • Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 2008 to 2011.

 

Affiliations

  • Society for the History of Technology
  • American Historical Association
  • Business History Conference
  • Association for Computing Machinery