Honghong Tinn

Assistant Professor

Research Area: History of computing

6-161 Keller Hall

Area of Expertise:

History of computing, and history of technology

Faculty Affiliations:

Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine


Ph.D., Science & Technology Studies, 2012, Cornell University


I am a historian of information technology and received my Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies from Cornell University. Before joining the University of Minnesota, I held fellowships and academic positions at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany, the National University of Singapore, and Earlham College. My research interests are in the areas of the history of digital electronic computing, Cold War, econometrics, and science, technology, and medicine in East Asia. My book manuscript, Island Tinkerers: Emulation, Innovation and Transformation in the Making of Taiwan’s Computing Industry, explores the transnational exchanges of computing technology and expertise between Taiwan and the United States. I especially emphasize the agency exercised by local Taiwanese engineers, scientists, technocrats, and computer users in bringing computing technology to and popularizing such technology in Taiwan. I am an elected member of the Executive Council of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT, 2017-2019) and am chairing the SHOT International Small Grants Committee since 2017. I am currently an advisory editor for Engineering Studies, and on the editorial board of East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (Duke University Press).


“Making Community Legible, 2012-2018” East Asian Science, Technology, Society 13, no. 1 (2019): 5-6.

“Modeling Computers and Computer Models: Manufacturing Economic-Planning Projects in Taiwan, 1959-1968,” Technology and Culture 59, no. 4 (October, supplement issue, 2018): 66-99.

“Charting the Cartography of a Global Community of EASTS Scholars,” East Asian Science, Technology, Society 10, no. 4 (2016): 341-342.

“From DIY Computers to Illegal Copies: The Controversy Over Tinkering with Microcomputers in Taiwan, 1980-1984,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 33, no. 2 (2011): 75-88.

“Cold War Politics: Taiwanese Computing in the 1950s and 1960s,” Think Piece column, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 32, no. 1 (2010): 92-95.