computer science

The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

The Bug that wasn’t really a Bug – Computer Pioneer Grace Murray Hopper

Most of you might think that computers is one of these men’s business things. Far from it! Not even that it was a women who is often referenced as the first computer programmer in history – Ada Augusta King Countess of Lovelace [1] – it was also a woman in the early days of computers, who developed the very first compiler to translate high level language computer programs into low level machine commands. But besides…
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John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

On September 4, 1927, American computer scientist and cognitive scientist John McCarthy was born. He was one of the founders of the discipline of artificial intelligence. He coined the term “artificial intelligence” (AI), developed the Lisp programming language family, significantly influenced the design of the ALGOL programming language, popularized timesharing, and was very influential in the early development of AI. “Intelligence has two parts, which we shall call the epistemological and the…
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E.F. Codd and the Success of the Relational Database Model

E.F. Codd and the Success of the Relational Database Model

On August 23, 1923, English computer scientist Edgar Frank “Ted” Codd was born. His main achievement besides many contributions to computer science was the invention of the relational model for database management, the theoretical basis for relational databases. “At the time, Nixon was normalizing relations with China. I figured that if he could normalize relations, then so could I.” — E. F. Codd [5] When you talk about databases today, usually you…
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Marvin Minsky and Artificial Neural Networks

Marvin Minsky and Artificial Neural Networks

On August 9, 1927, American biochemist and the founder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project Marvin Minsky was born. He is also known for his foundational work in the analysis of artificial neural networks. “Once the computers got control, we might never get it back. We would survive at their sufferance. If we’re lucky, they might decide to keep us as pets.” – Marvin Minsky, Life Magazine (20 November 1970), p. 68…
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How Dan Bricklin created VisiCalc, the first Spreadsheet Software

How Dan Bricklin created VisiCalc, the first Spreadsheet Software

On July 16, 1951, computer scientist Dan Bricklin was born. Together with Bob Frankston he created VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet computer program (1979) which created a market beyond hobbyists for the emerging personal computers. Today, everybody knows spreadsheet programs, no matter if you choose a desktop application or a web based application, spreadsheets are everywhere. And sometimes, we don’t have any idea, how we could possibly get along without them. Spreadsheets So,…
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Probably the Most Popular Video Game Ever – Space Invaders!

Probably the Most Popular Video Game Ever – Space Invaders!

In early June 1978 – we have not been able to determine the exact date – the famous arcade video game Space Invaders designed by Tomohiro Nishikado was released by the Japanese Taito Corporation. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of attacking aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. As the invaders were shot down one by…
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Konrad Zuse – The German Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The German Inventor of the Computer

On December 18, 1995, German engineer and computer pioneer Konrad Zuse passed away. He is renowned to have constructed the very first functional program-controlled Turing-complete computer,which was freely programmable and provided binary floating point arithmetics: the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. “The belief in a certain idea gives to the researcher the support for his work. Without this belief he would be lost in a sea of doubts and insufficiently…
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George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

On December 8, 1864, British mathematician and logician George Boole passed away. He is best known as the inventor of the prototype of what is now called Boolean logic, which became the basis of the modern digital computer. Thus, Boole also is regarded as one of the founders of the field of computer science. “It appeared to me that, although Logic might be viewed with reference to the idea of quantity, it…
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The Birth of the Internet

The Birth of the Internet

On October 29, 1969, the very first message between two distant computer nodes, from the Network Measurement Center at the UCLA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and SRI International (SRI) was sent. This is to be considered the birth of the ARPANET, which should become the Internet. Origins of the Internet What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread…
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FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

On October 15, 1956, the Reference Manual for the Programming Language FORTRAN – The IBM Mathematical Formula Translating System – was published. It is considered the very first high-level programming language. FORTRAN was developed at IBM under the guidance of John W. Backus to develop a more practical alternative to assembly language for programming their IBM 704 mainframe computer. FORTRAN became to dominate the area of numerical programming early on and has…
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