programming language

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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C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success – Dennis Ritchie

C is quirky, flawed, and an enormous success – Dennis Ritchie

On October 12, 2011, computer scientist Dennis Ritchie, who designed the UNIX operating system as well as the C programming language, passed away. Thanks to his contributions, computing made a huge leap forward and enabled real-time processing and multi-threading. Dennis Ritchie was born on September 9, 1941, in Bronxville, New York as son of Alistair E. Ritchie, a longtime Bell Labs scientist working on switching circuit theory. Dennis Ritchie graduated from Harvard…
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Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL – Programming Language for the Masses

Nikolaus Wirth and PASCAL – Programming Language for the Masses

On February 15, 1934, Swiss computer scientist Niklaus Emil Wirth was born. He is best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. If there is (or better ‘was’) one programming language that I really loved in the same way I hated it, then it was Pascal. On the one hand it was a rather easy to understand beginners programming language, but when…
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Haskell Brooks Curry and Computational Logic

Haskell Brooks Curry and Computational Logic

On September 12, 1900, American mathematician and logician Haskell Brooks Curry was born. Curry’s research in the foundations of mathematics led him to the development of combinatory logic. Later, this seminal work found significant application in computer science, especially in the design of programming languages. Curry is also known for Curry’s paradox and the Curry–Howard correspondence. There are three programming languages named after him, Haskell, Brook and Curry, as well as the concept of…
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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 also was…
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John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

John McCarthy and the Raise of Artificial Intelligence

John McCarthy (1927 – 2011) Image by null0 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. John McCarthy graduated from…
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