William Aspray, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow
Specialties and Interests
Computer history, information history, everyday information behavior, information policy, food studies, and broadening participation in computing.
I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
In recent years, I have been a senior faculty member in the information schools at Indiana (Bloomington), Texas (Austin), and Colorado (Boulder). Before that, I held leadership positions in professional non-profit organizations: the Charles Babbage Institute, the IEEE History Center, and Computing Research Association. Early in my career, I taught at Williams and Harvard. I have also held secondary, part-time faculty positions at Virginia Tech and Penn.
I have a BA and MA in mathematics from Wesleyan and a PhD in history of science from Wisconsin (Madison). I have also done graduate study with Michael Mahoney and Thomas Kuhn at Princeton and with Kenneth May at Toronto.
- Informational Aspects of Where to Live in America (book ed. with Melissa Ocepek, near final submission, Rowman & Littlefield) considers such topics as changes to the real estate industry because of information technologies, information-seeking behaviors of retirees and African Americans, affective impacts on home purchase, how communities use information to improve quality of life, and the cultural fascination with home improvement television shows
- Creators and debunkers of myths about the American West - article (submitted, under review)
- Dog sniffing of drugs and explosives, privacy, and the Fourth Amendment - article (in process, with Philip Doty)
- Information-Seeking Behavior of Older Americans (book, beginning stages) - considers topics such as when and where to retire, insurance, financial planning, preserving one's legacy, remaining engaged, contributing to society, intergenerational relationships, second careers, and dying.
- Fake News Nation (with James Cortada, Rowman & Littlefield).
- From Urban Legends to Political Fact-Checking (with James Cortada, Springer).
- Computing and the National Science Foundation, 1950-2016 (with Peter Freeman and W. Richards Adrion, ACM Books).
- Formal and Informal Approaches to Food Policy (Springer).
- Food in the Internet Age (Springer).
- ‘Food Fights for Freedom’: A Critical Reading of Food Advertisements from Ladies' Home Journal during the Second World War. Advertising and Society Review, vol. 15.
- Computer: A History of the Information Machine (3rd ed., with Martin Campbell-Kelly, Nathan Ensmenger, and Jeffrey Yost, Westview).
- Everyday Information (ed., with Barbara Hayes, MIT Press).
- Globalization and the Offshoring of Software (ed., with Frank Mayadas and Moshe Vardi, ACM).
- Women and Information Technology (ed., with JoAnne Cohoon, MIT Press).
- John von Neumann and the Origins of Modern Computing (MIT Press).