2 answers

who is the father of the computer?

Updated Stanford, California

2 answers

Kathy’s Answer


Charles Babbage is considered the Father of Computers as he came up with the concept of a digital programming computer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage

Alan Turing is considered the Father of Computer Science who formalized the concept of algorithms & computation for the machine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

Have you seen the movie "The Imitation Game" with Benedict Cumberbatch & Kiera Knightley? The movie loosely (and of course in a very dramatic way) tells a part of Turing's story. Benedict plays the role of Alan Turing. :-)

By the way, the first computer called the ENIAC sits today at the University of Pennsylvania, a monstrous machine that did some amazing calculations in the early days of computing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC

And also... Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace (née Byron; 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852) was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She was the first to recognise that the machine had applications beyond pure calculation, and created the first algorithm intended to be carried out by such a machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first to recognise the full potential of a "computing machine" and the first computer programmer.

Daniel’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Kathy's answer is awesome. Also big +1 for Steve's point on Lovelace. One way of looking at it is that Babbage is the father of a digital calculator thing, Lovelace is the mother of actually doing more arbitrary computing (not just rote math), and Turing is the father of modern computer science.

There's other contributors as well. Boole did a bunch of work on logic.

We definitely can't omit von Neumann either, who you can think of as designing the original concept for a CPU. Without von Neumann, all computing would be really ungainly.

And there's many others... it's a big field :)

Definitely consider finding some books on the history of computing if you're interested in this stuff. There's also a museum somewhere in the bay area.