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Speak on the personality of Ch. Babbage




THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE. MODERN TECHNOLOGY.

IT-Revolution.

1. What do computers-biz futurists say?

2. Are the humans manipulated by the media in the same way as by reading?

3. The amount of info is said to be doubling every six to seven years. Can we keep up?

4. How might other humans use computers to control you?

5. When and how do you spend your time on the Internet?

EXERCISES

1. If you were to bury a time capsule to be opened in 2100 what would you put into it?

2. What is the crucial factor in achieving success in the information age?

3. Prove that English is the common language for the Internet users.

4. What resources does Internet store?

5. What dangers do computers bring to modern society?

6. What can you advice to cope with information overload?

Speak on the personality of Ch. Babbage.

Charles Babbage (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, mechanical engineer and (proto-) computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer. Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, working from Babbage's original plans, a difference engine was completed, and functioned perfectly.

Charles Babbage was born in England in London. Charles's father, Benjamin Babbage, was a banking partner of the Praeds who owned the Bitton Estate in Teignmouth. His mother was Betsy Plumleigh Babbage née Teape. In 1808, the Babbage family moved into the old Rowdens house in East Teignmouth, and Benjamin Babbage became a warden of the nearby St. Michael’s Church.

His father's money allowed Charles to receive instruction from several schools and tutors during the course of his elementary education. Around age eight he was sent to a country school in Alphington near Exeter to recover from a life-threatening fever. His parents ordered that his "brain was not to be taxed too much" and Babbage felt that "this great idleness may have led to some of my childish reasonings." For a short time he attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Totnes, South Devon, but his health forced him back to private tutors for a time. He then joined a 30-student Holmwood academy, in Baker Street, Enfield, Middlesex under Reverend Stephen Freeman. The academy had a well-stocked library that prompted Babbage's love of mathematics. He studied with two more private tutors after leaving the academy.

Babbage arrived at Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1810. He had read extensively in Leibniz, Lagrange, Simpson, and Lacroix and was seriously disappointed in the mathematical instruction available at Cambridge. In response, he, John Herschel, George Peacock, and several other friends formed the Analytical Society in 1812.

In 1812 Babbage transferred to Peterhouse, Cambridge. He was the top mathematician at Peterhouse, but failed to graduate with honours. He instead received an honorary degree without examination in 1814.

Design of computers

In recognition of the high error rate in the calculation of mathematical tables, Babbage wanted to find a method by which they could be calculated mechanically, removing human sources of error. He first discussed the principles of a calculating engine in a letter to Sir Humphry Davy in 1822.

Part of Babbage's difference engine, assembled after his death by Babbage's son, using parts found in his laboratory.

Babbage's engines were among the first mechanical computers. His engines were not actually completed, largely because of funding problems and personality issues. Babbage realized that a machine could do the work better and more reliably than a human being. Babbage directed the building of some steam-powered machines that more or less did their job, suggesting calculations could be mechanized to an extent. Although Babbage's machines were mechanical monsters, their basic architecture was astonishingly similar to a modern computer. The data and program memory were separated, operation was instruction based, the control unit could make conditional jumps and the machine had a separate I/O unit.

Analytical engine

Soon after the attempt at making the difference engine, Babbage started designing a different, more complex machine called the Analytical Engine. The engine is not a single physical machine but a succession of designs that he tinkered with until his death in 1871. The main difference between the two engines is that the Analytical Engine could be programmed using punch cards, an idea unheard of in his time.

Ada Lovelace, an impressive mathematician and one of the few people who fully understood Babbage's ideas, created a program for the Analytical Engine. Had the Analytical Engine ever actually been built, her program would have been able to calculate a numerical sequence known as the Bernoulli numbers. Based on this work, Ada is now widely credited for being the first computer programmer and, in 1979, a contemporary programming language was named Ada in her honour. Shortly afterward, in 1981, a satirical article by Tony Karp in Datamation magazine described the Babbage programming language, the "language of the future".






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