Charles Babbage 1791-1871 - Department of Computer Science

By Andrew Boyd
("Charles Babbage Portrait")
Personal Life
-Born in London ("CBI")
-Taught himself Algebra ("CBI")
-Went to Cambridge in 1811 ("CBI")
-Co-founded Analytical Society ("CBI")
-Taught at Cambridge ("CBI")
-Married Georgia Whitmore in 1814 ("CBI")
-Had Eight Children ("CBI")
-A son, his wife, and his father all died in 1827 (Lee)
-"Elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge in 1828" (Walker)
-Invented the Difference Engine ("CBI")
-Designed a an Analytical Engine ("CBI")
"Alethes and Iris"
-Frequented Theaters (Lee)
-Had a high appreciation for beauty (Lee)
-Wanted to make a ballet that would use colored lights:
“Alethes and Iris” (Lee)
Assorted Oddities
-Investigated biblical miracles: 10^12 (Lee)
-Hated street performers: 25% (Lee)
("Love's Ritornella-Street
-Attempted to predict horse races (Lee)
-Quantify everything: “Table of Constants of Nature and Art” (Lee)
("Horse Race")
Difference Engine
-Could compute math tables ("Idea Finder")
-Did not have memory ("Idea Finder")
-Extremely precise engineering for it’s time
("Idea Finder")
-The difference engines were never finished
("Idea Finder")
-Difference Engine No. 1:
First successful automatic calculator ("Idea Finder")
If completed: 15 tons, 25,000 parts, 8 ft. tall (Luscombe)
-Difference Engine No. 2:
Completed after Babbage’s death ("News")
5 tons, 11 ft. tall, 7 ft. long ("News")
("Difference Engine")
Analytical Engine
-If completed:
would have been the first programmable computer ("News")
would have been the first Turing-Complete machine ("News")
-Small parts were complete
one of which was programmable via punch cards ("News")
Ada Lovelace made a program for one of
the “analytical engine” machines, which found
Bernoulli numbers ("News")
-The punch cards were based off of Jacquard loom
("The Analytical Engine")
Implications on Modern Society
-When designing the Analytical Engine, Charles Babbage came up with many
of the basic concepts used on modern computers.
He made the first programmable machine (Walker)
He made the first machine that has memory (Walker)
Works Cited
"The Analytical Engine." History and Theory of Multimedia and Animation. Web. 31 Jan 2011.
"Ballet." Dance. Web. 31 Jan 2011. < >.
"Cambridge." 19th century England antique prints. Web. 31 Jan 2011.
"Charles Babbage Institute." CBI. Regents of the University of Minnesota, 03/01/2011. Web. 30 Jan2011.
"Charles Babbage Portrait." School of Information Science - Hall of Fame. Web. 30 Jan 2011.
"Difference Enginge No. 2." News. CBS Interactive, 02/05/2008. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <>.
"Difference Engine." The Babbage Engine. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <>.
"Fascinating Facts about Charles Babbage." Idea Finder. The Great Idea Finder, 2007. Web. 31 Jan 2011.
"Horse Race." Web. 31 Jan 2011. < Preview/PreviewPage.aspx?i>.
Lee . "Charles Babbage." EI. J.A.N., 30/09/1994. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <>.
"Love's Ritornella-Street Performer." Fotolibra. Web. 31 Jan 2011.
Luscombe, Andy. "Great Men You've Never Heard of: Charlse Babbage, Father of the Computer." Primer 2011: n. pag.
Web. 31 Jan 2011.
<’ve-never-heard-of-charles- babbage-father-of-the-computer>.
"Resurection." When Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <>.
Walker, John. "The Analytical Engine." Fourmilab. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan 2011. <>.

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