A discussion of the core concepts of modern computing and their basis in history.
Dr Doron Swade offers a new analysis of the history of computing, suggesting that instead of a linear progression from one phase to the next, it can be better understood as a series of separate computational functions diverging and converging.
Dr Swade goes beyond the analysis of the history of computing as moving from the Mechanical to the Electromechanical and then to the Electronic phase. Instead he argues that the history of computing is better understood as the diverging and merging of a series of streams which represent very separate computational functions or paradigms: Calculation, Automatic Computation, Information Management, Communication and the Electronic Information Age.
Dr Doron Swade
Doron Swade (MBE, PhD, MSc, C.Eng, FBCS, CITP) is an engineer, historian, and museum professional. He studied physics, electronics engineering, philosophy of science, machine intelligence, and history, at various universities including Cambridge University and University College London. He is a leading authority on the life and work of computer pioneer Charles Babbage and masterminded the successful construction of the first complete Babbage calculating engine built to original 19th-century designs. He lectures widely and has authored three books (one co-authored) and over eighty scholarly and popular articles on Charles Babbage, history of computing, curatorship, and museology. He is currently Visiting Professor (History of Computing) at Portsmouth University, and Research Fellow (Hon) (Computer Science) at Royal Holloway University of London. He was formerly Visiting Professor (Interaction Design) at the Royal College of Art, Assistant Director & Head of Collections at the Science Museum, London, and Senior Curator of Computing. He was awarded an MBE for Services to the History of Computing in 2009.