Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and the Bernoulli numbers

November 28, 2016 - 11:15am to 12:15pm
Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota
Keller 3-125
Mohamed Mokbel

ABSTRACT: This talk untangles the historic roots of "the world's first computer program."  This paper emphasizes the intellectual collaboration between Charles Babbage (1791-1871) and Ada Lovelace (1815-1852).  Their work occurred while preparing a translation of an Italian scholar's 1842 description of Babbage's Analytical Engine, which (while never built) featured several conceptual features of modern computers.  Extensive "Notes" prepared by Lovelace described Babbage's machine, suggested new uses for computing, and presented an algorithm for computing the series of Bernoulli numbers.