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Forefathers of Computing

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The Forefathers of Computing Science:
For over a thousand years after the Chinese invented the abacus, not much progress was made to automate counting and mathematics. The Greeks came up with numerous mathematical formulae and theorems, but all of the newly discovered math had to be worked out by hand. A mathematician was often a person who sat in the back room of an establishment with several others and they worked on the same problem. The redundant personnel working on the same problem were there to ensure the correctness of the answer. It could take weeks or months of labourious work by hand to verify the correctness of a proposed theorem. Most of the tables of integrals, logarithms, and trigonometric values were worked out this way, their accuracy unchecked until machines could generate the tables in far less time and with more accuracy than a team of humans could ever hope to achieve.
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Computers: From the Past to the Present
The Forefathers of Computing Science: Last modified July 30, 2006
©1994-2006 by Michelle A. Hoyle