computer science

Tom Kilburn and the First Stored-Program Computer

Tom Kilburn and the First Stored-Program Computer

On August 11, 1921, English engineer Tom Kilburn was born. Kilburn became known for having written the computer program used to test the first stored-program computer, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine, SSEM, also known as “The Baby” in 1948. “… the most exciting time was June 1948 when the first machine worked. Without question. Nothing could ever compare with that.” Tom Kilburn, Autumn 1992 Tom Kilburn was born in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, England and…
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John Cocke and the RISC Architecture

John Cocke and the RISC Architecture

On May 30, 1925, American computer scientist John Cocke was born. Cocke is recognized for his large contribution to computer architecture and optimizing compiler design. He is considered by many to be “the father of RISC computer architecture.” John Cocke – Background Information John Cocke was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. His father Norman was the president of Duke Power Company and a member of the Board of Trustees of Duke University.…
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Robert Metcalfe and the Ethernet Technology

Robert Metcalfe and the Ethernet Technology

On May 22, 1973, Robert Metcalfe, by the time PhD student in electrical engineering working at Xerox PARC, wrote a memo describing a way to transmit data from the early generation of personal computers to a new device, the laser printer. He named the new network technology Ethernet after the disproven luminiferous ether as an “omnipresent, completely-passive medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves“. Over time, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired…
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The Antikythera Mechanism – an Ancient Analog Computer

The Antikythera Mechanism – an Ancient Analog Computer

On May 17, 1902, Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovers the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer, designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. The Discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism The famous mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck near the Greekisland of Antikythera. In October 1900, a group of sponge divers discovered the wreck and retrieved a great number of artifacts dating back to the end of the second century BC, which…
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Howard Aiken and the Harvard Mark I Computer

Howard Aiken and the Harvard Mark I Computer

On March 9, 1900, computer pioneer Howard Hathaway Aiken was born. He was the original conceptual designer behind IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer, forerunner of the modern electronic digital computer. “The desire to economize time and mental effort in arithmetical computations, and to eliminate human liability to error is probably as old as the science of arithmetic itself.” — Howard Aiken, in Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine (1937) Early Years Howard Aiken’s parents…
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Norbert Wiener and the Science of Cybernetics

Norbert Wiener and the Science of Cybernetics

On November 26, 1894, American mathematician Norbert Wiener was born. Wiener established the science of cybernetics, a term he coined, which is concerned with the common factors of control and communication in living organisms, automatic machines, and organizations. He attained international renown by formulating some of the most important contributions to mathematics in the 20th century. “Scientific discovery consists in the interpretation for our own convenience of a system of existence which has…
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The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

On October 23, 1960, professor of computer science and human-computer interaction Randy Pausch was born. He is best known for a lecture titled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” he gave after he had learned that he had pancreatic cancer, which became rather popular on youtube. Randy Pausch Randy Pausch studied at Brown University and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980’s. He fulfilled…
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Seymour Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

Seymour Cray – the Father of Supercomputing

On September 28, 1925, American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect Seymour Roger Cray was born. He designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which built many of these machines. Called “the father of supercomputing,” Cray has been credited with creating the supercomputer industry. “One of my guiding principles is don’t do anything that other people are doing. Always do something a little…
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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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