Exploring a vast array of topics related to computation, Computing: A Historical and Technical Perspective covers the historical and technical foundation of ancient and modern-day computing. The book starts with the earliest references to counting by humans, introduces various number systems, and discusses mathematics in early civilizations. It guides readers all the way through the latest advances in computer science, such as the design and analysis of computer algorithms.
Through historical accounts, brief technical explanations, and examples, the book answers a host of questions, including:
Why do humans count differently from the way current electronic computers do?
Why are there 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, etc.?
Who invented numbers, when were they invented, and why are there different kinds?
How do secret writings and cryptography date back to ancient civilizations?
Innumerable individuals from many cultures have contributed their talents and creativity to formulate what has become our mathematical and computing heritage. By bringing together the historical and technical aspects of computing, this book enables readers to gain a deep appreciation of the long evolutionary processes of the field developed over thousands of years. Suitable as a supplement in undergraduate courses, it provides a self-contained historical reference source for anyone interested in this important and evolving field.