computer science

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. What was the reason for the development of the Internet? Especially in the 1960s, when computers were absolutely not widespread or ubiquitous as today.…
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The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture of Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch(1960 – 2008) 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 studied at Brown University and received his Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980’s.…
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FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

FORTRAN – The First Programming Language for Numeric Calculations

Cover of The Fortran Automatic Coding System, the first book about FORTRAN 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…
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John Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

John Atanasoff and the first Electronic Digital Computer

John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995) On October 4, 1903, American physicist and inventor John Vincent Atanasoff was born. He is best known for being considered as one of the inventors of the electronic digital computer. Even computer scientists most probably haven’t heard anything of this computer pioneer. Of course you will have heard about Alan Turing or John von Neumann, who are traditionally referenced as being the fathers of the computer. Maybe, when…
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GNU’s not Unix

GNU’s not Unix

On September 27, 1983, American software freedom activist and computer programmer Richard Stallman announced the GNU project. Its aim is to give computer users freedom and control in their use of their computers and computing devices, by collaboratively developing and providing software. You’ve probably never heard of GNU, unless you are a computer scientist or some kind of software developer. But, GNU denotes the starting point of a development that still continues…
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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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Deep Blue vs Gary Kasparov

Deep Blue vs Gary Kasparov

On May 11, 1997, Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, and becme the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format. The story of the chess playing supercomputer started in 1985 with a computer called ChipTest at Carnegie Mellon University by Feng-hsiung Hsu. But actually, the dream of an automated chess player being able to beat a…
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Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

On March 8, 1931, media theorist, author, and cultural critic Neil Postman was born. He is best known for his works criticizing the increase of the role of technology in every human’s life not seeing the dangerous side effects. Neil Postman spent almost all of his lifetime in New York City and graduated at the State University of New York, receiving a master’s degree in 1955. A few years later, he began teaching at…
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Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse – The Inventor of the Computer

Konrad Zuse (1910 – 1995) 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, the Z3, which became operational in May 1941. Konrad Zuse developed the ability to build various kinds of machines in his early high school years, and he began his engineering-career at Berlin’s Technical University, where he earned his degree in 1935.…
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George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

George Boole – The Founder of Modern Logics

George Boole (1815-1864) 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. George Boole was born on November 2, 1815 as first of four children to his father…
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