Questions tagged [computer-science]

For questions about the scientific approach to computations and its applications.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
0answers
67 views

What's the history of experimentation by simulation? [closed]

How did the essemtial general purpose algorithms for simulations evolve over the past 50-100 years?
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Why so hard to find references to pictures of Raymond Boyce?

Raymond Boyce was one of the first pioneers of the relational database and a co-developer of SQL, yet it is almost impossible to find any pictures of him: https://www.google.com/search?q=raymond+f+...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Origins and reason for Volume A and B divide in Theoretical Computer Science

At some point in history, theoretical computer science emerged as a sub-discipline of computer science. Later, apparently it segregated into "volume A" work and "volume B" work. This can be seen for ...
6
votes
0answers
204 views

Was there an intentional purge of all audio recordings of Alan Turing?

The YouTube video Alan Turing's lost radio broadcast rerecorded contains a re-enactment of Alan Turing's lecture broadcast by the BBC. In the introduction, the narrator (James Grimes, also of the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Why did Norbert Wiener break off relations with Walter Pitts?

I read on the Wikipedia page on Walter Pitts that Norbert Wiener broke off relations with Walter Pitts, which "sent Walter Pitts into 'cognitive suicide'". Why did Norbert Wiener break off relations ...
8
votes
0answers
113 views

When did computer pioneers realize that some problems are intrinsically hard?

In my theory computation class, I was told that early computer pioneers didn't realize that some problems are intrinsically hard—what we now call NP-hard problems. Instead, it took a while to realize ...
10
votes
1answer
661 views

Why is the Halting problem attributed to Alan Turing?

The halting problem is a very famous example from computability theory of a problem that is undecidable. It is often said that the proof of its undecidability was given by Alan Turing, indeed ...
3
votes
0answers
117 views

How did Yao came up with his minimum spanning tree algorithm?

I recently stumbled upon this text about Yao's algorithm for the minimum spanning tree (MST) and I was wondering if there are some preceding algorithms (other than Sollin's algorithm) that were ...
9
votes
1answer
331 views

Did Turing know of Babbage's work?

Did Turing have any knowledge of Babbage's work? Is it known if he ever mentioned Babbage?
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Did Kolmogorov complexity influence the development of communication complexity?

I was reading a wikipedia article about communication complexity and it seems to me that it bears some resemblance to Kolmogorov complexity. Was the founder of communication complexity influenced by ...
6
votes
2answers
646 views

Why didn't John von Neumann win the Turing Award, Fields Medal or Nobel Prize?

From what I've read in Wikipedia, John von Neumann made a stupendous number of contributions to economics, computer science and mathematics. Why, then, didn't he receive a top award in any of these ...
0
votes
1answer
733 views

Who first invented the programmable digital computer?

I read Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer (the Analytic Engine) and that Ada Lovelace devised the first computer programs. Also I realize John Von Neumann invented the first ...
18
votes
2answers
822 views

What happened to analog computers?

When was the last analog computer developed? What about one that is still in use (as in computation or experiment)? Were there major improvement done from the day digital computers became so popular?
5
votes
1answer
176 views

Who coined the term “machine learning”?

A lot of sources attribute the definition to Arthur Samuel (1959), "the field of study that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed", but none of these sources ...
7
votes
2answers
356 views

What mathematician or scientist has published the most peer-reviewed articles on chess problems?

This question involves not only those provided by the link, but also those "chess-themed" mathematics and computer science problems which are not included in the link. Who has published the most peer-...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Can we fairly assess Ada Lovelace's talent for mathematics?

Dorothy Stein, a biographer of Ada Lovelace, was pretty blunt in her assessment: Lovelace was a mediocre mathematician, for example see here. I wonder if she's fair to her. The fact that Lovelace ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Origin of O/L for false/true in German computer-science texts

In Konrad Zuse's Plankalkül ZIA ID 0020 from 1972, in his patent submission Z23624 "Rechenmaschine" ZIA ID 0177 from 1936 and modern German Wikipedia article on the dyadic system, 2020-01-17 we see L ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

When did the study of the rate of convergence of algorithms begin?

I was reading a book about computational complexity theory and the author made a claim that the study of time complexity of algorithms started with a result on the upper bound on the number of ...
7
votes
1answer
778 views

The origin of logic gate symbols

Who first proposed the distinctive shapes and the rectangular shape labels? What is the consideration behind the shapes and the labels?
8
votes
1answer
243 views

What is the first reference to a nondeterministic Turing machine?

I am looking for the first reference of a Nondeterministic Turing machine. There is no mention of them in the 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers."
1
vote
2answers
232 views

Can you provide pages 7, 8, 25 of the 1969 edition of the Art of Computer Programming?

A paper published in 1975 references The Art of Computer Programming (then published in 1969), so it's probably the first edition. I can't even find this edition for sale anywhere. Would you be so ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Is there a reason $⊑$ in CSP is analogous to $⊇$ (as opposed to $⊆$)?

The 'square' subset symbols are sometimes used to express analogous concepts to subsets, like prefixes or suffixes. However their use in CSP seems to be counterintuitive to their shape: $⊑$ appears ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

What is the origin of “banana brackets”?

"Banana" brackets are used to denote catamorphisms: Another notation found in the literature is . These symbols are very similar to the composition of a $($ and a $|$, is this similarity more than ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

How did Lenna become the most used image in image processing?

$Lenna$ despite being an playboy model posing nude here and there, is one of the most used images for image processing. How she came into the world of image processing? Was it done intentionally by ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

When has the notion of “programming language for machines” emerged?

Nowadays, it seems just common sense to write a program in a high-level programming language and let it be compiler (or interpreted) into machine code to run a computer. However, when did the ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Why would Margaret Hamilton and her team at NASA print the code on paper?

This famous photo depicts Margaret Hamilton, leader of the software engineering team for the Apollo Project, next a print out of the code she and her team wrote for the mission. This information is ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Why was the 'differential entropy' from information theory so named?

The entropy of a distribution $p$ on a discrete set $\mathcal{X}$ is defined as $$H(p) = -\sum_{x \in \mathcal{X}} p_x \log p_x.$$ Shannon in his classic paper [1] defines the analogue for continuous ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

In left- or right-rotation for arrays, where did those conventions for the directions come from?

This is a repost from another exchange. I was going to write a paper about code to rotate elements in an array, but I realized I have no idea why rotation towards the start of the array is “left” ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

What technologies were used before JavaScript?

I made a small research about the history before JavaScript was available to use, but I couldn't find much. I only found several plugins that was used, such as Adobe Flash, ActiveX. So, what I want ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

Was the Vigenère cipher broken many years before Kasiski?

The Vigenère cipher was broken by Kasiski in 1863 but I read novels and romans from older time, for example during the French Revolution where a student broke Vigenère cipher. Is it likely that ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

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'...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
510 views

Did amateurs ever produce important proofs or similar?

Background Mathematics and some areas of physics and computer science have the peculiar appeal that some problems and results are easy to understand and it is conceivable that somebody armed with ...
3
votes
1answer
700 views

Serendipitous discoveries in Mathematics and Computer Science

I have recently been reading about serendipitous discoveries in science and I found them quite inspiring. Most of those discoveries are in Chemistry. I'm looking for examples of these kinds of ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

When was the first appearance of the abbreviation RSA?

When was the first publication of the abbreviation RSA (Rivest, Sharmir, Adleman) because it does not appear in Martin Gardner’s article of 1977 which is at the following url: https://simson.net/ref/...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

When was the Server Side Include feature of web servers first made available?

Server Side Include (SSI) is a specific concept and related feature of web servers. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_Side_Includes When was this feature first introduced? The Wikipedia ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the first historical reference to the binary search algorithm?

Most of you know what I mean, but I will define it broadly: the binary search algorithm consists in searching iteratively for an element within an ordered set, by asking yes/no questions that will ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Gentzen and computer science

This is a cross-post from mathstack: https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/2584003/gentzen-and-computer-science?noredirect=1#comment5333947_2584003 I would like to learn a bit about the ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How was the “train on 70% of data” convention established?

It's common in machine learning to train on 70% of non-validation data, testing on the remaining 30%. I'm not sure whether the motive for this is theoretical or "empirically this works well", although ...
2
votes
0answers
80 views

Why is $\eta$ used in $\eta$-conversion?

In lambda calculus there are three types of reduction, $\alpha$-renaming $\beta$-reduction $\eta$-conversion The use of $\eta$ in $\eta$-conversion seems rather strange to me. Since they already ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Tri-nary processor?

Every now and then, I run across a rumor of the Soviets building a tri-nary processor, way back when. But I can never find a source beyond the infamous guy who knows a guy... The idea is interesting,...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

Etymology of 'qubit'; is there any relation to cubits?

Whilst several not-very-authoritative sources e.g. Wikipedia state that the word qubit was derived, partially, as a play on the word cubit (obviously it also stands for 'quantum bit'), is there any ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

Entscheidungsproblem vs. Unvollständigkeitssatz

The first term is used by Hilbert in his 1928 work, but in Gödel's later work, the same thing is referred to as Unvollständigkeitssatz ("incompleteness theorem"). For today's German CS researchers, it ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

What did Tim-Berners Lee mean with “HTTP also allows index search” in his paper “World wide web: The Information Univesrse”?

For my work on the history of hypertext systems and the WWW I cam across one sentence on the development of HTTP which I don't understand and where I could not find any information about: Page 55: (...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Grey Walter and Norbert Wiener Regarding Holism

Grey Walter writes: ``Even in the very simplest system, with two active elements, multiple interconnection between elements give several modes for which simple observation is useless. The study of ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

What is the relationship between constructivism and object oriented programming?

I am exploring the topic of constructivism from discreet math, and think it is related to object oriented programming. Can anyone confirm or deny the two are related?
6
votes
0answers
213 views

history of backpropagation

Has anybody read or have access to Alex Andrew Significance Feedback in Neural Nets Report of Biological Computer Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL GM-10718-03 TR No 5 September ...
0
votes
1answer
845 views

Did Albert Einstein write a computer program?

I am curious whether or not Albert Einstein wrote a computer program. Did he write a computer program?
7
votes
1answer
581 views

Who developed Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) and applied it to machine learning?

I searched about GMM (Gaussian mixture model), but only found that normal distribution was invented by Carl Friedrich Gauss. I'd like to know who contributed to the development of GMM itself, and to ...
6
votes
2answers
127 views

What was the first programming language that implemented hash maps / dictionaries as a base type?

I'm having a discussion elsewhere about this. I suspect that it was Perl, with the hash maps, but that is because I don't know much about older languages rather than any exhaustive research on the ...