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Questions about genesis and development of computer science as a scientific discipline and its applications.

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P=NP turns 50. 1971 STOC conference

Stephen Cook presented his seminal paper "The complexity of theorem-proving procedures" at the 1971 STOC (Symposium on Theory of Computing) conference which was held May 3-5, 1971 at Case ...
John Coleman's user avatar
7 votes
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348 views

What was the first public reference to bloom filters where the number of hash functions vary?

In traditional bloom filters, each item is hashed some fixed number of locations. One variant of this is to hash items a varying number of locations within the same bloom filter. This idea is ...
dan's user avatar
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Evolutionary theory applied to programming languages

I'm looking for books applying evolutionary theory to the history of programming languages. Researching the topic I have found an interesting paper - Modelling the Evolution of Programming Languages ...
polymechanos's user avatar
6 votes
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110 views

Where did our present regex notation originate?

First question, and my apologies if it is off-topic! This question suggests to me I may not be totally off-base. Where did our present regex notation originate? I am particularly wondering how <...
cxw's user avatar
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Which languages, if any, implemented parametric polymorphism before ML?

In particular, was there any kind of implementation at the time Christopher Strachey wrote Fundamental Concepts in Programming Languages? In that work, Strachey lists Ad Hoc and Parametric ...
itsbruce's user avatar
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Dennis Ritchie citation for "the C declarator syntax is an experiment that failed"?

I've often heard that the C declarator syntax described as "an experiment that failed." I've seen claims that this sentiment is also shared by its creator Dennis Ritchie. Does anybody have an actual ...
Paul J. Lucas's user avatar
3 votes
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226 views

What is the etymology of "swizzle"?

The word swizzle can refer to an operation performed in GPU algorithms: [The] ability to compose vectors by arbitrarily rearranging and combining components of other vectors. Swizzle (computer ...
Chance Snow's user avatar
3 votes
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19 views

What is the historical origin of the concept of a "clipping path"

Algorithms for clipping lines to a rectangle seem to have been invented by Ivan Sutherland in the late 60s. At some point the rectangle was generalized to an arbitrary polygonal area, and these days ...
Theo H's user avatar
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What is a good general-knowledge-level title description of Dr. Aho's and Dr. Ullman's body of work for which they were awarded the 2020 Turing Award?

I recently read in the New York Times that my old "Data Structures and Algorithms" class professor Dr. Ullman had received the Turing Award along with Dr. Aho. The article title was "...
Armand's user avatar
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What was the impact of Impagliazzo's A Personal View of Average Case Complexity?

I'm studying his paper and I was wondering how the community reacted to it. Yes, Average Case Complexity has come a long way since then, but I want to know if it was directly influenced by it.
J. Dionisio's user avatar
3 votes
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What is the first programming language where the keyword "new" appeared?

It's really interesting when this keyword first appeared as a lot of popular languages but relatively old languages( C++, C#, Java, JS ) use it. I understand use of "new" in C++ in practical manner( ...
Andrei's user avatar
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Was there a phase in Machine Learning timeline when researchers thought some Neural Networks could not be trained?

I was talking to a professor who made a comment to my question. Me: So much of quality literature around this topic ( IP Protection for Neural Weights) emanated in 1990-1991, I'm truly at loss ...
user248884's user avatar
3 votes
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91 views

What happened to Active Databases?

When reading the literature on declarative programming technology. A particular technology that sounded promising is active databases. It essentially allows the programmer to specify rules about data ...
Arturo Hernandez's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Has Triangle Finding ever been faster than Matrix Multiplication?

The Triangle Finding problem (TF) in Graph Theory was shown by Itai and Rodeh in 1977 [1] to be solvable as fast$^1$ as Boolean Matrix Multiplication (BMM, Matrix Multiplication over $\{0, 1\}$ with ...
hadizadeh.ali's user avatar
2 votes
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33 views

History of the category of effectful computations

The 1971 paper A Catalog of Optimizing Transformations contains this passage: irreducible subprograms require special handling. (An irreducible subprogram is one which maintains a history, performs I/...
Theo H's user avatar
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37 views

Is the discrepancy in Turing's representation of complete configurations intentional?

On page 235 of Turing's 1936 paper, in the figure marked (C), the illustration appears not to match the description. The description states that space has been made on the left of the scanned symbol, ...
orome's user avatar
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Similarities between Babbage's difference engine and the Turing machine

What would you consider similarities between the difference engine and the Turing machine? At this point I feel I know how they both function, yet I can't point out any worthwhile similarities between ...
Polly's user avatar
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When did our current concepts of program modularity develop?

I take it that the concept of a modular subroutine call/return existed prior to the concept of a call stack (and hence to the possibility of recursive subroutines or of recursion limits). I would ...
benjimin's user avatar
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Four Pillars of Object Oriented Programming

I'm researching object oriented programming and I've come across the term "four pillars of OOP" in a few places now. I originally saw them listed as: Abstraction Encapsulation Inheritance ...
Philip Kirkbride's user avatar
2 votes
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59 views

Literature similar to Minsky's "Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence" (1961)?

With great pleasure I was just reviewing Marvin Minsky's publication "Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence" from 1961. Now I would like to know whether there are any more compilations about the ...
moooeeeep's user avatar
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sorting numbers on Babbage's analytic engine

I read that Babbage analytic engine is Turing complete. I wonder, how could I sort array of numbers on it? Imagine that I have numbers in storage and I want to sort them. How can I do that? The ...
user983447's user avatar
2 votes
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108 views

Book about the whole operation of the computers

I was wondering, If there is a book about whole operation of a Computer. I mean since the operation of software, programming languages (high and low level) and drivers until the deep physics ...
Gustavo Ramos's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
32 views

When and where did Remote Rendering Systems originate?

Remote rendering is system in which a server (on the cloud, usually) is performing rendering tasks (such as running a video game) and sends the rendering results to a remotely connected, thin device --...
pookie's user avatar
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2 votes
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145 views

Are there some popular science videos on computer algorithms to recommend?

I am seeking for some popular science videos on computer algorithms for my last lecture delivered in this term. The topic of the videos includes but are limited to algorithm design, algorithm analysis,...
hengxin's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
70 views

Why is the default page/block size 4 KiB?

Clearly, some empirical study on an older machine helped us choose a 4KiB page size to balance TLB hit rate and fragmentation. Modern hardware and operating systems support this size for backward ...
idle_cycles's user avatar
1 vote
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35 views

Did Jon von Neumann know about Claude Shannon's work when he wrote the "First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC?"

In the "First Draft" JvN described an adder circuit to do binary addition, which was a much faster way of doing computer addition than using decimal lookup tables as the ENIAC had done. JvN'...
jimboweb's user avatar
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1 vote
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55 views

First piece of code in scientific papers

What is the first/oldest piece of source code shown in an scientific paper or journal? I am looking for source code of assembly or a high level programming language which was real (implemented) and ...
Peter Kofler's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
58 views

How close are current computer technologies in terms of energy efficiency to the Landauer Limit?

I'm trying to figure out how close (in orders of magnitude) current computer technologies are in terms of energy efficiency to the Landauer Limit. However, I'm finding (seemingly) conflicting ...
andrewzian's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
27 views

Origin of GUI terminology

I'm wondering where the GUI terminology like modal dialogue comes from. Who first used these terms? Is there a paper or a book, or was it just sw?
Tomas By's user avatar
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1 vote
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48 views

Design considerations of datatypes in early programming languages like C

Although type theory originated (e.g. already discussed by Russell in 1910s) much earlier than programming languages, I have this feeling that languages such as C considered type-checking from a very ...
wlnirvana's user avatar
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Is McCarthy Formalism first ever formalism for defining functions recursively in computer science?

McCarthy formalism is a formalism for defining functions recursively, first introduced in classic paper Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine, Part I (1960). ...
Siegmeyer's user avatar
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118 views

Combining Computer Science and Humanities

I currently hold a bachelors in Computer science and a masters in Art History. I really want to combine the two and I know of Digital Humanities but I'm not completely aware of where Digital Humanists ...
dcs1's user avatar
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1 vote
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33 views

When was manual dynamic memory managment introduced?

Original Fortran only had static memory. Algol introduced stack allocation. Lisp had Garbage Collection. But when where manual dynamic memory management such as in C introduced. In C memory can be ...
user53173's user avatar
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62 views

What is the earliest compiler in chain that was used to create what we nowadays have as a modern C compiler?

My apologies if the title is confusing. First I begin with the statement that may be wrong but what I always thought what happened. "Dennis Ritchie created C compiler which was used to create ...
Clear Sky's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

SMP operating system that had been "proven" to be bug free?

Many years ago someone told me about a historical SMP operating system (or program?) that had been all but proven to be bug free (or something close to this). But yet turned out to have bugs that were ...
Morty's user avatar
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50 views

How did we go from Binary to something like Python?

If there's one thing the pandemic has shown us its that High school Geometry did not save us. I am a high school math teacher and I understand my job and its usefulness only exist in a post scarcity ...
CSNOOB SAFE Space pls 's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

Term for language that abstracts program location?

What is the technical term that describes a programming language that abstracts (or at least largely abstracts) the machine location of programs? I’m thinking here specifically of the evolution of ...
orome's user avatar
  • 121
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27 views

Punch-card computers running today

Are there any systems that operate primarily by punch cards (loading/saving data) in production usage today? (Or at least up to the year 2000?)
marcwenger's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

What is the origin of state concept?

On a Turing machine, the state changes during the execution of the program. Von Neumann architecture implements this machine theory and typical computer hardware uses Von Neumann architecture. ...
Alexandre Demelas's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

When did idea of document file format or markup language first appear?

I'm not necessarily asking for the first well-formed definition of some markup language, nor the first implementation of parser for one such language. What I'd like to know is when did people first ...
Luka Mikec's user avatar