The role of the Atlas Computer Laboratory was to provide a national computing facility for research in science and engineering. Its main users were UK Universities and some government agencies.
Its first computer, after which the Laboratory was named, was the largest of the three Ferranti Atlas 1 computers that were built. At the time, it could claim to be the fastest and most innovative of the computers available worldwide (although the same claims could be made for the IBM 7030 known as Stretch).
The Atlas Computer Laboratory was for many years a major facility supporting computationally-intensive science and engineering research in the UK. It also made important contributions to systems software including operating systems, compilers, computer graphics, and networking. Basic software in the areas of statistics, mathematics, linguistics, chemistry and many other areas was also developed.
Information is presented in five main areas: