Machines that Think? Presented by Lucas Mellinger

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  • Machines that Think?Presented by Lucas Mellinger

  • The Oriental AbacusCirca 3000 BCUsed a combination of beads and rods to perform calculations.ABACUS

  • The Antikythera Mechanism150-100 BCDiscovered in 1902 by a diver off the coast of Antikythera Island off the coast of Greece.Origins are unclear. Speculation:Constructed at an academy founded by the philosopher Posidonius, on the Greek island of Rhodes.Carrying to Rome with other looted treasure.

  • The Antikythera MechanismA similar machine was built by Archimedes and brought to Rome after Archimedes death at the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC.Device Functions:365-day calendar that factored in leap year every four yearsReconciles the solar year with the lunar calendarA star almanac, showing the times when the major stars and constellations of the Greek zodiac would rise or set(speculatively) may also have shown the positions of the planetsIncludes the main lunar anomaly (the Moon appears to move across the heavens at different speeds at different times)

  • The Antikythera MechanismPractical uses of this device:Calculating solar and lunar eclipses. However, the device would probably only have indicated days when eclipses might occur, and a more accurate calculation of the time of day would have to be done by hand.Setting the dates of religious festivals connected with astronomical eventsAdjusting calendars, which were based on lunar cycles as well as the solar year

  • Napiers Bones1617 - John Napier implemented new system of logarithms with a set of movable sticks, often made of ivory.Used for multiplication1630 - William Oughtred improved Napiers design to invent the Slide Rule

  • Slide RuleUsed to perform multiplication, division, squares, square roots, logs, sine, cosine, and tangent calculations. There are also many variants that include things like specialized scales for cubes and cube roots, and for making multiplication and division a bit easier. More complicated slide rules can also include various log-log scales for calculating exponential powers in general, or natural logs, or various mathematical relationships. SLIDE RULE

  • The Pascaline1642 - 1652 Blaise Pascal designed the PascalineAdding and subtracting Base-ten principal of dials (like car odometer)Dial in numbers to add or subtract and the machine did the rest.

  • The Epitome of MonotonyMechanical devices in the 17th century had to be crafted one-by-one.Each individual precision part had to be fashioned by hand.The genius of the inventor was often held hostage to the skill of the metalworker.

  • The Stepped Reckoner1694 - Leibniz invented an improved version of the Pascaline that could also multiply and divide.Used binary (base-2) arithmetic, which was a major theoretical advancement.Currently used for all modern computer language

  • The Arithmometer1862 - Charles de ColmarWon a gold metal at an International Convention in LondonCould mass produce

  • The ArithmometerPromotional Claims:Multiply two eight-digit numbers in 18 secondsDivide a sixteen-digit number by an eight-digit number in 24 secondsFind the square root of a sixteen-digit number in one minuteManufactured and sold well into the 20th century

  • The Difference Engine1822 - Charles Babbage generated logarithmic astronomical tables using his Difference EngineInspired by a programmable weaving loomCreated the Analytic Engine which accepted data from punched cards.

  • Analytic EngineBabbage and assistant Lovelace wrote what is considered the first significant computer programDesigned to be steam poweredMetalworking technology could not match precision of the Analytic EngineThe design and programs were rediscovered in 20th century by computer designers

  • Technological AdvancesIndustrial Revolution of the 19th centuryMid-1800s - George Boole develops foundation for Boolean AlgebraExpressing logical processes in terms of 1s and 0sPublished two works:The Mathematical Analysis of LogicThe Laws of ThoughtTheoretical key to thinking circuitry in todays computers

  • Technological Advances1880s - Herman Hollerith devised a machine that ran on electricity to tabulate census data using punch cards.Reduced processing time by 5 1/2 yearsHollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company which later became IBM1937 - Claude Shannon combined Boolean algebra with electrical relays and switching circuits

  • Technological AdvancesWorld War II:Allan Turing invented machine to break German U-boat Enigma codeMax Newman devised logic to bread the code, but was too slow and tediousIn 1944 Tommy Flowers a huge machine, Colossus, that used 1500 vacuum tubes to run Newmans decoding processDecoded German messages in hours vs.. weeks or months by handKonrad Zuse created a functional electro-mechanical machineSome claim that he was the first inventor of electronic computers

  • Technological Advances1941 - John Atanasoff and grad student Clifford Berry built a programmable computer that solved systems of linear equations1944 - First American general-purpose computer, Mark I, was built by IBMUsed mechanical and electromagnetic relaysGot instructions from punched paper tapeMore than 50ft longContained 800,000 partsUsed more than 500 miles of wire

  • ENIAC1946 - Electronic Numerical Integrator and CalculatorConstructed of forty-two 9x2x1 panels with 18,000 vacuum tubes, 1500 electrical relays, and weighed more than 30 tonsVacuum tubes made it 500 times faster than the Mark INot reliable: vacuum tubes burn out and had not data storage capacity


  • Get with the Program1949 - John von Neumann devised a way to store programs inside a computerEDSAC - Electronic Delayed Storage Automatic ComputerUNIVAC I - UNIVersal Automatic ComputerFirst commercial computer


  • Modern-Day Technology1950s - vacuum tube replaced by the transistor invented by Bell LabsRivaled vacuum tubs by being smaller, more powerful and more dependableMid-1960s - integrated circuitry making personal computers more affordable1967 - Texas Instruments officially recognized for inventing the first pocket electronic calculator

  • There has never been a technology in the history of the world that has progressed as fast as computer technology.

  • TIMELINECirca 3000 BCInvention of the Oriental Abacus212 - 100 BCAntikythera Machines built for astronomical calculation1617Napier invented Napiers Bones1630Oughtred invents the Slide Rule1642 - 1652Invention of the Pascaline for adding and subtracting1694Leibniz invents the Stepped Reckoner for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing1862Colmar invents the ArithmometerMid-1800s Babbage invents the Difference Engine and the Analytic Engine. Lovelace helps to write the first logical programs1800sINDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION1937Shannon combines Boolean algebra with electrical relays and switching circuitsWWIIComputers, logic, and algorithms progressed to break war codes1941John Atanasoff builds first programmable computer1944Mark I built by IBM1946Invention of ENIACMid-1900sStorable programs and invention of EDSAC andUNIVAC I

  • TIMELINE1950sVacuum tube replaced by the transistorMid-1960s Integrated circuitry made computers more affordable1967Texas Instruments invents first hand-held calculator1970 - Present DayComputer technology advances at an incredible rate.

  • ResourcesBerlinghoff, W.P, & Gouvea, F.Q. Math Through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others. Farmington: Oxton House Publishing (2002). p. 175-180.Decker, R., & Hirschfield, S. The Analytical Engine. Wadsworth, Belmont, CA, 1990. p. 17.Henke, G.