[SIGCIS-Members] Donald Knuth

Paul Fishwick pxf130430 at utdallas.edu
Thu May 15 07:59:11 PDT 2014

Tom notes:

> Neither have computer science departments embraced the history of computer science as an important area of teaching or research. 

And Paul asks

In what way has history ever been “useful” to computer scientists? 

I am saddened that history and culture of computing are, indeed, not adequately covered in 
computer science programs with which I am familiar. I am a computer scientist, not a historian.
However, I don’t think I could do my research in model representation effectively without reading 
the history of modeling, computing, engineering, and technology. I am presenting a paper this 
coming week (ACM SIGSIM) on “computing as model-based empirical science.” This hypothesis 
would not be possible without historical context, especially in the area of analog computing. Analog
computing has good coverage in the history of computing, but is noticeably absent from computer
science curricula (the topic split off into systems engineering).

I am not sure I follow the thread on Knuth’s lecture, but am anxious to find out more. 


Paul Fishwick, PhD
Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog: creative-automata.com

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