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Traces computing from the development of the abacus, through the invention of the binary system, the introduction of mechanical and electronic computers, and projections of quantum computers.
Traces computing from the development of the abacus, through the invention of the binary system, the introduction of mechanical and electronic computers, and projections of quantum computers.
A riveting history of counting and calculating from the time of the cave dwellers to the late twentieth century, The Universal History of Numbers is the first complete account of the invention and evolution of numbers the world over. As different cultures around the globe struggled with problems of harvests, constructing buildings, educating their citizens, and exploring the wonders of science, each civilization created its own unique and wonderful mathematical system. Dubbed the "Indiana Jones of numbers," Georges Ifrah traveled all over the world for ten years to uncover the little-known details of this amazing story. From India to China, and from Egypt to Chile, Ifrah talked to mathematicians, historians, archaeologists, and philosophers. He deciphered ancient writing on crumbling walls; scrutinized stones, tools, cylinders, and cones; and examined carved bones, elaborately knotted counting strings, and X-rays of the contents of never-opened ancient clay accounting balls. Conveying all the excitement and joy of the process of discovery, Ifrah writes in a delightful storytelling style, recounting a plethora of intriguing and amusing anecdotes along the way. From the stories of the various ingenious ways in which different early cultures used their bodies to count and perfected the use of the first calculating machine-the hand-to the invention of different styles of tally sticks, up through the creation of alphabetic numbers, the Greek and Roman numeric systems, and the birth of modern numerals in ancient India, we are taken on a marvelous journey through humankind's grand intellectual epic. We meet those who only count to four-anything more is "a lot"; discover the first uses of counting fingers and toes; learn of the amazing ability of abacus users to calculate with brilliant efficiency; and ponder the intriguing question: How did many cultures manage to calculate for all those centuries without a zero? Exploring the many ways civilizations developed and changed their mathematical systems, Ifrah imparts a unique insight into the nature of human thought-and into the ways our understanding of numbers and how they shape our lives has slowly changed and grown over thousands of years. In this illuminating and entertaining work, you'll learn about: The earliest calculating machine--the hand Tally sticks--accounting for beginners How the Sumerians did their sums Greek and Roman numerals The invention of alphabetic numerals The achievements of the Mayan civilization India and the birth of modern numbers Indo-Arabic numerals and how they reached the West The final stage of numerical notation Praise for The Universal History of Numbers "Let us start the year with a bang. Georges Ifrah is the man. This book, quite simply, rules. . . . It is outstanding, and not least because it has been written from first principles, for people like you and me, curious but by no means expert . . . a mind-boggling and enriching experience."-The Guardian "Pursuing the invention of numbers across civilizations, Georges Ifrah has written the grand story of human ingenuity. . . . His amazing undertaking, describing humankind's relationship with numbers from Paleolithic times to the computer age, spans the world from Mayan ruins to Indian museums, from Egyptian hieroglyphics to Greek philosophers to Chinese libraries."-Le Figaro "Follow the astonishing path of Georges Ifrah, the Indiana Jones of arithmetic . . . who decided in 1974 to begin the search for his Grail, the origin of numbers. Journeying over mountains and across valleys, he discovered how-from Mayan to Chinese, from Indian to Egyptian-humankind has juggled numbers."-Express "Ifrah's book amazes and fascinates . . . It is nothing less than thehistory of the human race told through figures."-International Herald Tribune
This work derives from a conference discussing the history of computing in education. This conference is the first of hopefully a series of conferences that will take place within the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) and hence, we describe it as the First Conference on the History of Computing in Education (HCE1). These proceedings represent a collection of works presented at the HCE1 Conference held in association with the IFIP 2004 World Computer Congress held in Toulouse, France. Contributions to this volume range from a wide variety of educational perspectives and represent activities from four continents. The HCE1 conference represents a joint effort of the IFIP Working Group 9.7 on the History of Computing and the IFIP Technical Committee 3 on Education. The HCE1 Conference brings to light a broad spectrum of issues and spans fourcontinents. It illustrates topics in computing education as they occurred in the “early days” of computing whose ramifications or overtones remain with us today. Indeed, many of the early challenges remain part of our educational tapestry; most likely, many will evolve into future challenges. Therefore, this work provides additional value to the reader as it will reflect in part the future development of computing in education to stimulate new ideas and models in educational development.
History of Computing: Learning from the Past Why is the history of computing important? Given that the computer, as we now know it, came into existence less than 70 years ago it might seem a little odd to some people that we are concerned with its history. Isn’t history about ‘old things’? Computing, of course, goes back much further than 70 years with many earlier - vices rightly being known as computers, and their history is, of course, important. It is only the history of electronic digital computers that is relatively recent. History is often justified by use of a quote from George Santayana who famously said that: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’. It is arguable whether there are particular mistakes in the history of computing that we should avoid in the future, but there is some circularity in this question, as the only way we will know the answer to this is to study our history. This book contains papers on a wide range of topics relating to the history of c- puting, written both by historians and also by those who were involved in creating this history. The papers are the result of an international conference on the History of Computing that was held as a part of the IFIP World Computer Congress in Brisbane in September 2010.
Internet Governance: Origins, Current Issues, and Future Possibilities provides an introductory, multidisciplinary account of the forces at work in the evolving concept of internet governance and includes computer history, Internet beginnings, institutions and stakeholders, proposed models of governance, and human rights.
At last - the secrets of Bletchley Park's powerful codebreaking computers. This is a history of Colossus, the world's first fully-functioning electronic digital computer. Colossus was used during the Second World War at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, where it played an invaluable role cracking enemy codes. Until very recently, much about the Colossus machine was shrouded in secrecy, largely because the codes that were employed remained in use by the British security services until a short time ago. This book only became possible due to the declassification in the US of wartime documents. With an introductory essay on cryptography and the history of code-breaking by Simon Singh, this book reveals the workings of Colossus and the extraordinary staff at Bletchley Park through personal accounts by those who lived and worked with the computer. Among them is the testimony of Thomas Flowers, who was the architect of Colossus and whose personal account, written shortly before he died, is published here for the first time. Other essays consider the historical importance of this remarkable machine, and its impact on the generations of computing technology that followed.

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