Where Did He Come From?
Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann was born in Peking, China, in the early 20s to an American mother and an Austrian father. His father, Ernst von Enzmann, was an officer in Franz Josef’s army. He escaped from prison in Siberia by walking to China. His mother, Florence Goodman was a native of Maine. After graduating from Johns Hopkins, Florence joined the Peking Union Medical College staff. Ernst and Florence met there and married.
As he grew up, Robert attended British Embassy schools. Dr. Enzmann came to the USA for the first time at the age of five. He grew up splitting his time between Massachusetts and Maine. He earned his doctoral degree in medicine and geology and attained three master’s degrees during his educational career. He served in the Navy during WWII and saw 14 active combat situations, including the Leyte Gulf Battle in the Philippines and air support for the invasion of Normandy Beach. He was shot down more than once and received a Purple Heart for his service.
Joanna Enzmann – an unusually brilliant mind
Joanna Muckenhoupt was enrolled in MIT at the age of 16. She met Robert Enzmann in a freshman math class. He was a graduate student in geology. Joanna was not the youngest student, and with so few women, they all tended to stick together. Her freshman class started with 995 students, of which 16 were women. In all, there were about 50 women at M.I.T., including graduate and part-time students.
Joanna developed a strong interest in programming. She recalls, “My first taste of computers was in my junior year at MIT, I needed a course outside of math, and it looked interesting. At one point we were learning about Boolean math. I remember being very confused about the concept and knew, somehow, that this was what I wanted to do with my life. I took every computer course there was, and there were not too many then.”
They were in the Electrical Engineering department, and the main emphasis was on how they were built, not on computing. At that time, analog computers were about as prominent as digital ones. She learned to program them and the digital one – an IBM 704. The only language was assembly language. The operating system was that: if the operator liked you, your job was run sooner; if not, your job might be at the bottom of the pile for days.
The subject of her graduate thesis was Nomography – a graphical method of solving equations. Now, with computers, the discipline has been forgotten. Joanna worked on BMEWS and many other government and military projects, including missile trajectories. She worked at Draper Labs, on projects for the military at Kwajelien, and then at Raytheon for decades. She is now retired. She spends as many hours as she can in needlework of all kinds. The walls of both houses are covered with it; she also makes quilts for the beds, and other items.