Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


A History of Computing


Ömer Eğecioğlu
Department of Computer Science,

University of Santa Barbara

(Currently Sabancı University)


This is the story of some of the prominent people and ideas that paved the way for today's computers. Computing has a long history. The concepts on which computers are based have an even longer history. Modern-day computers are built upon the ideas developed over the centuries by numerous thinkers and mathematicians.

We can view computers as both abstract logical machines and physical realizations of such machines. The same logic underlies room-sized computers, mainframes, PCs, PDAs, etc. The ideas that led to these developments did not arise from nowhere in the 1940s. Many individuals contributed to this story, which is a testament to the value of vision and abstract thought.

Ideas have consequences!

In this expository talk I will discuss several of the key individuals and their contributions to logic and computing that paved the way for the "universal machines" of today and tomorrow. These scientists include Gottfried Leibniz 1646-1716, George Boole 1815-1864, Gottlob Frege 1848-1925, Georg Cantor 1845-1918, David Hilbert 1862-1943, Kurt Gödel 1906-1978, Alan Turing 1912-1954.


DATE: December 9, 2003, @ 16:40
PLACE: Mithat Çoruh Amfi