Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank Group, today announced the establishment of a new Department of Computing Activities, effective February 1, 1971. In making the announcement, Mr. McNamara cited the increasing importance of electronic data processing in the work of the World Bank Group and the more widespread use of computers internationally, especially in the development of economic and social data banks, country programs and data files. The Department of Computing Activities will develop such information retrieval systems, management information systems, and computer processes and methodology for gathering and processing statistical and economic data as are required in the conduct of the work of the Bank Group. In addition, the Department will be responsible for coordinating its activities with those of other international organizations in the development of systems and information services on an inter-organizational basis; for liaison to the extent appropriate with the International Computer Center in Geneva and the proposed Inter Organization Board for Information Systems.
Mervin Muller, currently Professor of Computer Sciences and of Statistics at the University of Wisconsin, will be Director of the new Department. Mr. Muller is also Director of the International Institute of Statistical Computing and formerly served as Director of the University of Wisconsin
Computer Center as Special Assistant to the Chancellor on Long Range Planning. He is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles where he also received his Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Mathematic Mr. Muller has been serving as Consultant to the Bank since April 1970, and will join the staff in February.
The Department will report to Mr. McNamara through B. Chenery, The Economic Adviser to the President of the World Bank. The Department of Computing Activities will take over the programming and systems analysis functions presently assigned to other departments in the Bank and will responsible for the Computer Center which is operated jointly for the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.