# History of computing

This is a lesson in the course, Introduction to Computer Science, which is a part of The School of Computer Science

## Objective

To familiarize the student with the historical development of the modern (or present kind of) computer and its predecessors (or the old type). In this manner, the student can advance certain knowledge and ideas regarding the computer as a unit in itself. This could help students have a more critical understanding of the development of a computer in terms of sizes, the prices associated with selling individual units, and, more important, how computers have drastically changed society.

## Assignment

Students should do the required reading and assignments, then are encouraged to take one or more of the quizzes below.

## Required Work

1. Read the following Wikipedia articles, and write summaries of each that are the specified number of pages.

You may find the Timeline of computing helpful for this part of the assignment.

2. Read about one of the early pioneers in the field: Pascal, Leibniz, Jacquard, Babbage, Lovelace, Hollerith, Eckert, Mauchly, Aiken, Zuse, Atanasoff, Turing, or Von Neumann. Write a 2 pp., single spaced paper describing in detail that person's contribution to computing and computer science. You should consult more than one reputable source outside Wikipedia. Be sure to cite all references!

## Quiz

 The statement that "any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform" is known as
 The Church–Turing thesis That is correct. This is known as the Church-Turing thesis. The von Neumann thesis No. When programs are contained in storage that may be easily modified by the computer itself, the device is said to have a von Neumann architecture. The Babbage thesis No. Charles Babbage was an English mathematician, analytical philosopher, mechanical engineer and (proto-) computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer. Sheffer Stroke No. Henry Sheffer invented the Sheffer Stroke as a logical operator NAND which is true when p or q (or both) are false and is false when p and q are true.

## Notes

You may also find the following pages helpful: