By : Neha Dhyani
Updated : Jan 2, 2022, 9:01
It is hard to imagine life without computers. They surround us; they are everywhere, and they make our lives simpler. From banks to government offices, private companies to space research institutes, computers are omnipresent. Have you ever wondered who invented this immensely useful machine or who is considered the father of computers? You are right! It’s the mathematical genius, Charles Babbage.
Here is a ready reckoner of the facts you must know about Charles Babbage, who is known as the father of computers.
Benjamin Babbage and Betsy Plumleigh Teape
44 Crosby Row, Walworth Road, London, United Kingdom
26 December 1791
October 18, 1871
King Edward VI Grammar School, Holmwood Academy, Trinity College Cambridge, Peterhouse Cambridge
Designed the prototype of the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine
Charles Babbage is known as the father of computers because he was the first to invent the Analytical Engine, which led to the invention of the modern-day computer.
The Analytical Engine consisted of an Arithmetic Logic Unit or ALU, an integrated memory, and a basic flow control involving branching and loops. The Analytical Engine was a modernised version of the Difference Engine created by Babbage. While the Difference Engine came into existence in the 1820s, the prototype of the Analytical Engine was published in 1837.
The Difference Engine was a pioneering concept of its time. In fact, sensing the massive impact of the proposed machine, the then British Government approved a fund of 1700 UK Pounds to Babbage for constructing and commissioning the machine. The Difference Engine was to be designed as an automatic mechanical calculator for calculating polynomial functions.
Although Charles Babbage is known as the father of computers, he could not finish constructing any of his proposed machines primarily due to inadequate funding and clashes with his chief engineer. Since his projects were far ahead of his time, the expenses were far more significant than he or the British Government anticipated.
In 1941, Konrad Zuse, a German civil engineer and computer scientist, finally designed the world’s first programmable computer. The design of the computer was built on the foundations laid by Charles Babbage. Because of Konrad Zuse’s pioneering role in developing a machine which Charles Babbage could not, he is also considered and hailed as the father of computers.
Besides Charles Babbage, Konrad Zuse, Alan Mathison Turing, John Vincent Atanasoff, and Henry Edward Roberts also played instrumental roles in designing the computers we see today.
Konrad Zuse is known in this field because he created the S2 computing machine, the world’s first process control computer. Alan Mathison Turing pioneered the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) and theoretical computer science. He also formalised the concepts of computation and algorithms using the Turing machine.
John Vincent Atanasoff invented the world’s first digital computer, also known as the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. Henry Edward Roberts invented the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) in 1970, which designed the super-popular electronic calculator kit. This electronic calculator kit later led to the invention of the Altair 800 personal computer with the Intel 8080 microprocessor.
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Charles Babbage is known as the father of computers.
Besides Charles Babbage, Konrad Zuse, Alan Mathison Turing, John Vincent Atanasoff, and Henry Edward Roberts are known as the father of computers.
Henry Edward Roberts is known as the father of personal computers.