The Analytical Engine

Submitted by John Stovin

Talk Abstract:

Charles Babbage was a true polymath and the pioneer in the discipline of mechanical (as opposed to human) computing. His Difference Engine could automatically generate error-free mathematical tables, but his greatest achievement would have been the Analytical Engine, possibly the first programmable computing device ever designed.

This talk will explain the structure of the Analytical Engine, highlight some of the design features that made the machine so innovative, and show how we can start to simulate this ground-breaking machine.

About John Stovin

John has been a software developer for longer than he cares to remember. He learned to program on a Commodore PET back in the 1970s.

He lives in the heart of the Peak District and currently works for 3Squared in Sheffield, developing novel applications for the UK Rail industry. He has spent the last 20 years working for various companies in and around Sheffield, working on systems as diverse as Marine Navigation, DVD production, and Educational Administration. He has also taught part-time at the Department of Computer Science at The University of Sheffield, and at Sheffield Hallam University.

He regularly attends and occasionally presents at the Sheffield .NET User Group and at (def_shef), the Sheffield Functional Programming interest group. In addition, he has presented at DDDNorth, DDDSouthWest and other regional user groups, and also at FSharp Exchange in 2018 and NDC London in 2019.