History of computing

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This is a lesson in the course, Introduction to Computer Science, which is a part of The School of Computer Science


To familiarize the student with the historical development of the modern (or present kind of) computer and its predecessors (or the old type). In this manner, the student can advance certain knowledge and ideas regarding the computer as a unit in itself. This could help students have a more critical understanding of the development of a computer in terms of sizes, the prices associated with selling individual units, and, more important, how computers have drastically changed society.


Students should do the required reading and assignments, then are encouraged to take the test at http://computer.howstuffworks.com/computer-history-quiz.htm .

Required Work[edit]

1. Read the following Wikipedia articles, and write summaries of each that are the specified number of pages.

You may find the Timeline of computing helpful for this part of the assignment.

2. Read about one of the early pioneers in the field: Pascal, Leibniz, Jacquard, Babbage, Lovelace, Hollerith, Eckert, Mauchly, Aiken, Zuse, Atanasoff, Turing, or Von Neumann. Write a 2 pp., single spaced paper describing in detail that person's contribution to computing and computer science. You should consult more than one reputable source outside Wikipedia. Be sure to cite all references!


The statement that "any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform" is known as


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