Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Computer Education - History of Computer Science

The early foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks, such as the abacus, have existed since antiquity. Wilhelm Schickard designed the first mechanical calculator in 1623, but did not complete its construction. computer science discipline was very much in its developmental stages, and such issues were commonplace. Blaise Pascal designed and constructed the Ist working mechanical calculator, the Pascaline, in 1642. . Computer science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1950s and early 1960s. Charles Babbage designed a difference engine and then a general-purpose Analytical Engine in Victorian times, for which Ada Lovelace wrote a manual. Because of this work she is regarded today as the world's first programmer. Around 1900, punched card machines were introduced.

  During the 1940s, as newer and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors. A collection of materials intended to describe the history of computing to those interested in the 50th Anniversary of Computing in 1996 was used by students at Virginia Tech to develop a Virtual Museum of Computing that you may find very interesting. As it became clear that computers could  used for more than just mathematics calculation, the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general The world's first computer science degree program, the Cambridge Diploma in Computer Science, began at in University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in 1953. The first computer science degree program in the United States was formed at Purdue University in 1962. The ancient Greeks developed some very sophisticated analog computers. Since practical computers became available, many applications of computing have become distinct areas of study in their own right.

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