A Brief History of Computing

On Linkedin in the group Artificial Intelligence Researchers, Faculty + Professionals there was an interesting discussion “Can we compute an answer to every question?” with over 600 comments. Here I have realized that I cannot give a good definition what computing is, in spite that I have been working with numerical methods all my life and programmed some codes. I have decided to see what other say about computing and started with the book A Brief History of Computing by Gerard O’Regan, 2008.

It happens to be a lovely book where the author gives an enjoyable overview on many aspects of computing from history perspectives. He covers

  • Early Civilisations
  • Foundations
  • Computer Programming Languages
  • Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems
  • The Internet Revolution
  • Famous Technology Companies

and this gives pretty good feeling what is computing , although there is no direct formal definition. Funny enough, numerical methods as well as scientific computing are not there but, I guess, this just reflects that their market share is not that big.