[SIGCIS-Members] Digital Technology - Past and Present

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Fri Feb 5 05:31:36 PST 2016


This 52 page booklet, from the Open University, produced in conjunction with the BBC (which I learned about from a documentary about Ada Lovelace on BBC2 last night, part of their Making it Digital season), can be downloaded from:


Its Introduction:
"Digital technologies have changed the way we work, shop, socialise, and are entertained. Behind them lie clever algorithms – step by step procedures that detect where we are and suggest a route, predict the weather, recognise our fingerprint, and do many other things. Algorithms pre-date computers by over 2000 years. For example, simple arithmetic procedures, like long division, are algorithms.
In this pack you will see how computation changed over time, from early calculating devices to modern computers, who are some of the women and men behind major breakthroughs, what are the fundamental concepts and the limitations of algorithms. You will also see how to translate algorithms into code, so that computers can execute them much faster and more precisely than humans ever could. "


Brian Randell

PS The documentary about Ada Lovelace was much better than the brief account of her in this booklet. Hopefully this BBC series will show up on PBS soon.

School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne,
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
FAX = +44 191 208 8232  URL = http://www.cs.ncl.ac.uk/people/brian.randell

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