15

A case from this year is that of Aubrey de Grey. Aubrey de Grey, a biologist known for his claims that people alive today will live to the age of 1,000, posted a paper to the scientific preprint site arxiv.org with the title “The Chromatic Number of the Plane Is at Least 5.” In it, he describes the construction of a unit-distance graph that can’t be ...


13

Rutherford journal gives a nice chronology of analog computing up to 1970, when they went out of mass use. "The demise of the analogue computer was a gradual process. Apart from reductions in size and improvements in speed, the machines on sale up until 1970 were all essentially electronic differential analysers." Aside from living relics there has been ...


13

See: Alan Turing, Collected works: Mathematical Logic (R.O. Gandy & C.E.M. Yates editors, 2001). [page 10, regarding Turing's paper On computable numbers... (1937)] It should be remarked that there is no evidence that Turing had read any of the scanty and sporadic literature concerned with the general theory of mechanical computation. In particular, ...


12

In "History of Programming Languages" by Richard L. Wexelblat page 178: Part II was never written but was intended to contain applications to computing with algebraic expressions. Note that this part of the book was written by John MacCarthy himself.


11

I'm not a programmer, but I'll try to post a coherent answer. One of the major developers of OOP was Alan Kay. Kay himself has mentioned that LISP had an influence on him when he was developing the idea of OOP. from this page: The second phase of this was to finally understand LISP and then using this understanding to make much nicer and smaller and more ...


11

This is how computer programming was done in those days. There was no such thing as a modern terminal with a screen, and no keyboards. A programmer would write her code first on paper (handwritten), then a specialist typist will transfer it to punch cards, using some machine, a kind of typewriter. After several rounds of proofreading, the punch cards will ...


9

With this kind of "why?" question, one can only speculate. However, it's interesting that Feynman had a similar experience, as recounted in Surely, You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Feynman was sitting in a restaurant, when A Japanese man came into the restaurant. I had seen him before, wandering around; he was trying to sell abacuses. He started to talk to ...


8

In "The Art of Computer Programming, Vol 3, second edition, p422", it is said: Binary search was first first mentioned by John Mauchly, in what was perhaps the first published discussion of nonnumerical programming methods [Theory and Techniques for the dsign of Electronic Digital computers, edited by G.W. Patterson, 1 (1946), 9.7-9.8; 3 (1946),22.8-22.9]...


8

I suggest that the tacit assumption in the question---that all founders of A.I. were optimistic about the goal being reached very soon---is historically false. Some were optimistic, but just as many were not, although they hoped that their work was a step to the eventual realization of this goal far in the future. I'm not sure it has anything to do with ...


8

According to a wikibook Operating System Design: "A command line interface or CLI is a method of interacting with a computer by giving it lines of textual commands (that is, a sequence of characters) either from keyboard input or from a script. They were originally developed for interfacing with computers over teletype machines in the 1950s". Landley in The ...


8

A well-known example is the work of Marjorie Rice on pentagonal tilings of the plane. Wikipeidia: In December 1975, Rice came across a Scientific American article on tessellations. Despite having only a high-school education, she began devoting her free time to discovering new pentagonal tilings, ways to tile the plane using pentagons. She developed her ...


7

I am immediately reminded of a great 2010 documentary called Top Secret Rosies: The Female 'Computers' of WWII. The word "computer" has had a definition since at least the 17th century. In the traditional sense, this from the Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (1992), "compute" came from French, meaning "determine by mathematical reckoning." The word ...


7

This first sourcing I take directly from my paper copy of the The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (c. 1966, 1996 reprint) Here we have two etymologies for the word bug. The less appropriate etymology is as "insect, beetle (as still in U.S.)" with reference to a 16th century occurrence "in turd-bug dung beetle". It is next noted "Origin ...


7

A tiny bit of research is all it takes to find who and when. Agile was conceived between February 11-13, 2001 by Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, and Dave ...


6

The Tower of Hanoi – Myths and Maths gives a detailed historical account of the game, its predecessors and myths surrounding it, with references to original sources, it also goes in-depth into mathematical issues. The Temple of Brahma story was first reported in 1883 by Professor N. Claus (de Siam), mandarin of college Li-Sou-Stian, and was embellished by ...


6

According to Generations, by William Strauss and Neil Howe (S&H), the so-called World War II, or "Greatest" Generation, born 1901-1924 in America, were a particularly optimistic generation, in large part because of their life cycle. They won World War II as young men, landed a man on the moon in their middle age, and enjoyed the Reagan (economic) boom ...


6

I don't know about the Fields medal, but he could not have won the Nobel prize since the only appropriate one would have been the one in Economics, which was awarded for the first time in 1969, 12 years after his death. And the Turing award was awarded for the first time in 1966, 9 years after his death.


5

Not sure if there is a definitive answer but Smalltalk certainly had dictionaries (hash maps) built into the language (as such it can be given an OO language) and Smalltalk predates Perl.


5

The USS Iowa has mechanical analog computers for firing that survived the 1980-refit of the ship. An analog computer of everyday use in the XXIst century are the Flight computers used on a wide range of aircraft daily. Electronical analog computers were used to until the 70s because they're very good at analytics's, but I think even electronic analog ...


5

Nor does it appear in A method for obtaining digital signatures and public-key cryptosystems (Communications of the ACM Volume 21 Issue 2, Feb. 1978 Pages 120-126), which was Rivest-Shamir-Adleman's original publication. It is hard to pinpoint the watershed with such obvious abbreviations, but MathSciNet shows Blakley-Blakley Security of number-theoretic ...


5

There is a curious discrepancy between the Russian and the English pages of Wikipedia on "differential entropy". The English page is rather vague on the origin, but the Russian page states definitively (in Google's translation): "In information theory, the functional was heuristically introduced by C. Shannon, but he is not the author of the term "...


4

Looking at a variety of sources, it seems that Thomas Edison was the first to create vacuum tubes when trying to find better light bulbs in 1883, and was the first to discover the Edison effect where if you heat a conductor and pass charge through it, the charge can jump gaps in a vacuum. J.J Thomson in 1897 was the first to discover and explain how the ...


4

It's not just "neural computing research," but a number of other scientific fields such as "high definition" video that were spurred by the threat of competition from Japan, real or imagined, in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1950s, it was the threat of "Sputnik," and Russia's (temporary) lead in the space program that spurred a renewed American interest is ...


4

Amanda Gefter's recent article in Nautilus takes a very unambiguous position on the question: There was just one person who wasn’t happy about the reunion: Wiener’s wife. Margaret Wiener was, by all accounts, a controlling, conservative prude— and she despised McCulloch’s influence on her husband. McCulloch hosted wild get-togethers at his family ...


4

In Jataka, there's a story about Losaka http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/j1/j1044.htm So in time it came to pass that the people fell into a wretched plight. Reflecting that such had not been their lot in former days, but that now they were going to rack and ruin, they concluded that there must be some breeder of misfortune among them, and resolved to ...


4

Googling around, I have found this quote somewhere on facebook: John McCarthy: Those who don't speak math are doomed to speak nonsense. However, this apparently are not the actual words. Wiki quote claims that the actual wording was: He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense dated ~1995, so.. it is possible that somebody said it earlier ...


4

The two problems of completeness (Vollstandigkeit) and decidability of the predicate calculus were clearly defined in 1928 into the first "modern" mathematical logic textbook: David Hilbert and Wilhelm Ackermann, Grundzüge der theoretischen Logik (see also the English translation of 1938 second edition: §10 and §12): The 1928 edition included a clear ...


4

There was a peculiar case when an anonymous forum commenter made significant progress on a problem. They could well have had substantial formal training (reading their posts I think this is likely). The problem is establishing the formula for sequence A180632 of the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS): the Minimum length of a string of letters ...


3

Was the computer invented through the influence of the printing press or through the influence of the calculator? Neither. Electronic typesetting began in the mid 1960s with TYPSET and RUNOFF, which was a couple of decades after the invention of digital electronic computers. Desktop publishing followed a couple of decades later. Until the late 1960s, all ...


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