Questions tagged [computation]

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Where is the first reference to the "Z combinator", a call-by-value fix-point combinator?

I'd like to know the earliest reference to the Z-combinator. This could be either where the name was first coined, or even the first discussion of a need for an applicative-order Y combinator. I didn'...
Jason Hemann's user avatar
4 votes
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Who bet against the usefulness of matrix inversion – or is it a myth?

In my linear-algebra and numerics courses, I frequently heard an anecdote about some professor betting – literally, with money – that there would never be any application where computing the actual ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
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3 votes
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How were sine and cosine functions computed before the notion of Taylor series?

We know using modern analysis techniques that $\sin x$ and $\cos x$ can be computed by their Taylor series (in fact the Taylor series are given as the definitions of these functions in today's real ...
Maximal Ideal's user avatar
2 votes
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Bureau human computing services

Prior to the development of electronic computers, human computers were used and computer departments consisted of a room with humans at desks performing calculations. Large scientific organizations, ...
Fred's user avatar
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1 vote
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Quotation reference: "functions which can be evaluated under 1 sec are as good as analytically available"

I have a vague memory of a (possibly-apocryphal) quote by a physicist (I remember it as being Giorgio Parisi, which could be wrong), saying something to the effect of "any function which can be ...
πr8's user avatar
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Frege alluded to a logic algorithm?

Somewhere (I wish I remember where) I read that Gottlob Frege, although he didn't invent a logic algorithm, alluded to one (the Quine–McCluskey algorithm? something else? converting truth tables to ...
Geremia's user avatar
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What is the (economic, social) value of STEM archives?

I'm trying to convince my institution to improve their internal Computer Science archives, and want one of my argument angles to be based on empirical value-adds of archiving. History, library science,...
Maggie's user avatar
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