Comp 280: History and Philosophy of Computing, Winter 2009

Schedule

The schedule below will be updated frequently during the semester.

W L Day Date Content Readings
        Part I: The Prehistory of Computing  
1 1 Mon Jan 5 Introduction  
  2 Wed Jan 7 Additive numeral systems. Computing with Roman numerals Handout 1
  3 Fri Jan 9 Multiplicative and positional numeral systems Handout 2
2 4 Mon Jan 12 Writing materials. The abacus. Algorists and abacists  
  5 Wed Jan 14 Greek numerals Handout 3
  6 Fri Jan 16 Greek mathematics: Euclid's Elements Handout 4
3 7 Mon Jan 19 Aristotle's syllogisms. The Antikythera mechanism  
  8 Wed Jan 21 17th Century adding machines. Leibniz's dream Davis, Ch.1
  9 Fri Jan 23 Boole turns logic into algebra Davis, Ch.2
4 10 Mon Jan 26 Charles Babbage  
        Part II: Mathematical Foundations of Computing  
  11 Wed Jan 28 Views about infinity. Sets  
  12 Fri Jan 30 Cantor's set theory: Cardinality Davis, Ch.4
5 13 Mon Feb 2 Cantor's set theory: Diagonalization  
  14 Wed Feb 4 Frege's system of logic Davis, Ch.3
  15 Fri Feb 6 Hilbert's Programme: Consistency proofs Davis, Ch.5
6 16 Mon Feb 9 Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem Davis, Ch.6
  17 Wed Feb 11 Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem Franzén
  18 Fri Feb 13 Turing Machines Davis, Ch.7
7 19 Mon Feb 16 Uncomputable problems Handouts 6-7
  20 Wed Feb 18 Turing conceives of the all-purpose computer
        Part III: Modern Computing  
  21 Fri Feb 20 Making the first universal computers (1938-1946) Davis, Ch.8
X   Mon Feb 23 Study break  
    Wed Feb 25 Study break  
    Fri Feb 27 Study break  
8 22 Mon Mar 2 The advent of commercial computing (1945-1956) Ceruzzi, Ch.1
  23 Wed Mar 4 Computing comes of age (1956-1964) Ceruzzi, Ch.2
  24 Fri Mar 6 The early history of software (1952-1968): Fortran Ceruzzi, Ch.3
9 25 Mon Mar 9 The early history of software (1952-1968): Algol, Cobol, LISP
  26 Wed Mar 11 Early operating systems and mainframe computers (1959-69) Ceruzzi, Ch.4
  27 Fri Mar 13 Minicomputers (1959-69) and IBM System/360 (1961-1975) Ceruzzi, Ch.5
10 28 Mon Mar 16 Poster session (Trottier, 2nd floor)  
  29 Wed Mar 18 The Chip and its impact (1965-1975) Ceruzzi, Ch.6
  30 Fri Mar 20 Guest lecture: Minicomputers at McGill (1959-69) (Gary Bernstein)  
11 31 Mon Mar 23 Personal computers (1972-1977) Ceruzzi, Ch.7
  32 Wed Mar 25 Augmenting human intellect (1975-1985) Ceruzzi, Ch.8
  33 Fri Mar 27 Workstations, UNIX, and the Internet (1981-2009) Ceruzzi, Ch.9-10
12 34 Mon Mar 30 Guest lecture: Computer game development (Alexandre Denault)
  35 Wed Apr 1 Guest lecture: The past and future of Robotics (Joelle Pineau)
  36 Fri Apr 3 Guest lecture: Computing at SOCS (Ron Simpson)  
13 37 Mon Apr 6 Computers and Minds (1): Turing  
  38 Wed Apr 8 Computers and Minds (2): Searle  
    Fri Apr 10 Easter break  
X   Mon Apr 13 Easter break  
  39 Tue Apr 14 Review  
 


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