About

Tasha Schoenstein is a PhD candidate in the History of Science. Her research interests center on the history of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Her dissertation, "Computer Science on Campus: Technology, (Inter)disciplinarity, and the Transformation of the American University," explores how computer science became a discipline in the United States and how this process of discipline formation and institutionalization shaped the content and culture of computer science. Like other fields of knowledge, computer science in the United States emerged out of established disciplines; however, unlike many other scientific or engineering fields, computer science developed simultaneously out of multiple other disciplines and multiple different interdisciplinary arrangements. This dissertation explores how each of these disciplines in specific university contexts contributed to the construction of the character of computer science and the definition of the identity of the computer scientist and how different interdisciplinary relationships provided opportunities for the development of distinct visions of computer science. Drawing on archival research from university and department records as well as the papers of university administrators, computer scientists, mathematicians, electrical engineers, and others, this work reveals how the processes of discipline formation shaped everything from the intellectual foundation and internal culture of computer science to the modern American university’s institutional structure and approach to interdisciplinary knowledge-making.

While completing the PhD, Tasha also received a Master of Science (S.M.) in Computer Science at Harvard University. Before attending Harvard, Tasha received a Bachelor of Science (S.B.) in Mathematics with Computer Science with a minor in Chinese from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.