Motor driven Disk Memory Unit
Motor driven Disk Memory Unit, for Elliott/NRDC 401 Computer MkI, c. 1953
This computer was used for eleven years at the Rothamsted Agricultural Institute for
everything from analysis of crop trials and insect damage to work in the mathematics of
genetics. It was brought there by Frank Yates, a wartime operational researcher who
established Rothamsted as a peacetime statistical computing centre.
Yates had previously worked under the eminent statistician, Ronald Fisher, who laid the
foundation for much of modern statistical research, including randomisation, crucial in
clinical as well as agricultural trials today. Yates himself tirelessly encouraged the use of
statistical analysis in government research.