Introduction: WEIZAC, Pekeris, and Applied Mathematics

Leo Corry, Raya Leviathan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


WEIZAC, the first electronic computer built at the Weizmann Institute in the recently established State of Israel, was operational between 1955 and 1963. The driving force behind the project was the applied mathematician Chaim Leib Pekeris, and the chief engineer of the project was Gerald Estrin, who had actively participated in the IAS computer project. For Pekeris the electronic computer was an instrument meant to serve the aims of a Zionist vision, in which applied science would play a fundamental role. WEIZAC would help to achieve technological progress in the young country and to enhance the skills of the local engineers. Pekeris paved the way to the insitutional approval of the project, mobilized financial resources, and put together a team of talented engineers and scientists, some of whom came to Israel especially for the task. The WEIZAC project, under his leadership, produced important scientific results and opened the way to the development of a very successful computer culture in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
ISSN (Print)2211-4564
ISSN (Electronic)2211-4572

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Applied mathematics
  • Chaim Leib Pekeris
  • Gerald Estrin
  • Zionism


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