History of Computing Lecture 1: Computation and The Abacus

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What is the main focus of computer science?

Which ancient tool used beads to perform addition and subtraction?

In what century was the Greek abacus first used?

Who designed the Pascaline, an early mechanical calculator?

What innovative concept did Leibniz’ Machine expand on?

What was the main purpose of the Step Reckoner designed by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz?

Who developed the loom controlled by a loop of punched cards?

What was the method on which Babbage's Difference Engine was based?

Who translated Menabrea’s Sketch of the Analytical Engine to English and added detailed mathematical explanations?

What did Herman Hollerith investigate a suggestion for in 1882?

Which company did Hollerith form in 1896 that eventually became IBM in 1924?

Who was supported by IBM to build the ASCC computer (Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator) in 1944?

What did the Harvard Mark I (ASCC computer) use to represent mathematical data?

In what year did Howard Aiken predict that only six electronic digital computers would be required to satisfy the computing needs of the entire U.S.?


Explore the fascinating history of computing, starting with an introduction to computation and the ancient Greek abacus. Learn about the roots of computer science and the earliest methods of calculation.

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