The pure scientist does research in order to learn about nature, and he turns his attention wherever
his curiosity may direct him. It is inevitable that he will learn much that can be put to use, but he
regards this as a by-product of his efforts, not the main goal.
Engineering science, on the other hand, has usefulness to mankind as its principal aim, and its
efforts are conducted with this in mind. The engineering scientist may at times do research in the
same area as the pure scientist, but he also investigates other areas which show particular promise
of benefit. While he utilizes many of the findings of pure science, he also develops a science of his
own, especially in those areas where the pure scientist has not preceded him.
The work of the engineer thus basically consists in finding out more about nature, both from his
own work and from that of the pure scientist, and in putting his knowledge to work for man.
(Princeton University - Bric-a-Brac 1957, page 39)
*In 1952 he (Forman S. Acton) came to Princeton’s Forrestal campus as head of the Analytical Research Group in the math department, which had 15-20 graduate students working on such things as designing the Nike conventional warhead, air radar locators, and the U2 aircraft. He taught students to program on von Neumann’s IAS machine, the first stored-program general purpose computer in the world. He may have been the most influential programmer of this important early computer. He then moved to the Electrical Engineering department as Assistant Professor, continuing to teach computational numerical analysis.
(Memorial Resolution: Forman S. Acton March 2014)