computer science

The BASIC Programming Language

The BASIC Programming Language

On May 1st, 1964, the original BASIC programming language was released by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz, implemented under their direction by a team of Dartmouth College students in New Hampshire. Their initial goal was to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn. Actually, BASIC…
George Stibitz and the Electromechanical Digital Computer

George Stibitz and the Electromechanical Digital Computer

  On April 30, 1904, U.S. mathematician George Robert Stibitz was born. Stibitz is recognized as one of the fathers of the modern first digital computer. He was a Bell Labs researcher known for his work in the 1930s and 1940s on the realization of Boolean logic digital circuits using electromechanical relays as the switching element. Stibitz was born in York, Pennsylvania to George Stibitz, a professor of theology, and…
The World Digital Library

The World Digital Library

On April 21, 2009, the World Digital Library (WDL) was launched. The WDL is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress. The library intends to make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials. In…
The IBM System/360 and the Use of Microcode

The IBM System/360 and the Use of Microcode

On April 7, 1964, IBM introduced the IBM System/360, a rather successful family of mainframe computer systems, originally produced between 1965 and 1978 using microcode to implement the instruction set. It was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete range of applications, from small to large, both commercial and scientific. The design made a clear distinction between architecture and implementation. Also if you are not a computer scientist,…
Jule Gregory Charney and the Weather Prediction

Jule Gregory Charney and the Weather Prediction

On January 1, 1917, American meteorologist Jule Gregory Charney was born. Working with computer scientist John von Neumann, Charney first applied the electronic computer for weather prediction (1950) and brought about a new understanding of the large-scale flow circulation within the atmosphere. He is considered the father of modern dynamical meteorology. In 1979, the Charney report studied the relations of carbon dioxide and climate and became one of the earliest…
Samuel Morland and his Calculator Machine

Samuel Morland and his Calculator Machine

On December 30, 1695, English academic, diplomat, spy, inventor and mathematician Samuel Morland passed away. Morland was a polymath credited with early developments in relation to computing, hydraulics and steam power. He is probably best known for his designs of early calculator machines. Samuel Morland was born in Sulhamstead Bannister, Berkshire, England, the son of Thomas Morland, the rector of Sulhamstead Bannister parish church in Berkshire. Morland entered Winchester School…
Grace Hopper and the Programming Languages

Grace Hopper and the Programming Languages

On December 9, 1908, American computer scientist Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was born. Besides being credited for having invented the term “debugging”, Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944. She invented the first compiler for a computer programming language and was one of those who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the…
Fred Cohen and the first Computer Virus

Fred Cohen and the first Computer Virus

On November 10, 1983, U.S. student Fred Cohen at the University of Southern California‘s School of Engineering presented to a security seminar the results of his test, a program for a parasitic application that seized control of computer operations, one of the first computer viruses, created as an experiment in computer security. But, the history of computer viruses dates back even further. The first academic work on the theory of…
The Pentium FDIV Bug

The Pentium FDIV Bug

On October 30, 1994, Thomas Nicely, a professor of mathematics at Lynchburg College, published his findings about a serious bug in the arithmetic unit of Intel’s latest Pentium processor, known as the Pentium FDIV Bug. Because of the bug, the processor can return incorrect decimal results, an issue troublesome for the precise calculations needed in fields like math and science. The Pentium FDIV bug is the most famous (or infamous)…
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