Biography of Charles Babbage | Mathematician and engineer.

(Teignmouth, 1792 - London, 1871) Mathematician and British engineer, inventor of the programmable calculating machines. At the beginning of the 19th century, well advanced the Industrial Revolution, the errors in the mathematical data had serious consequences: for example, a faulty navigation table was a frequent cause of wrecks. Charles Babbage believed that a machine could do mathematical calculations faster and more accurate than people. In 1822 he produced a small functional model of his Difference engine (difference engine). The arithmetic performance of the machine was limited, but could collect and print mathematical tables without further human intervention than necessary to turn the cranks in the upper part of the prototype.

Charles Babbage
The following invention of Babbage, analytical ornalytical enginemachine, had all the essential parts of the modern computer: device input, memory, central processing and printer unit. Although the analytical machine has gone down in history as the prototype of the modern computer, never built a life-size model. But even if it had built, analytical machine would have been moved by a steam engine and, due to their fully mechanical components, its speed of calculation were not very large.
At the end of the 19th century, the American engineer Herman Hollerith used a new technology, electricity, when consideration of the Government of the United States underwent a project to build a machine that was finally used to compute data from the Census of 1890. Hollerith then founded the company which later became IBM.
Charles Babbage graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1814. Shortly thereafter, in 1815, he founded J. Herschel the Analytic Society with the purpose of renewing the teaching of mathematics in England. In 1816, he was elected to the Royal Society and in 1828 entered the University as Professor of mathematics.
Although he had excelled in the area of the theory of functions and algebraic analysis, Charles Babbage turned in an attempt to get a machine capable of performing accurate mathematical tables. In 1833 he completed his "difference engine", able to calculate logarithms and print them from 1 to 108,000 with remarkable precision, and formulated the theoretical foundations of any automaton of calculation. By then Babbage already knew systems count decimals, and was familiar with the decomposition of complex mathematical operations on simple strings.
After this, Babbage capsized on the project of designing a "analytical machine" that was able to process any sequence of arithmetic instructions. This project was funded by the British Government and with the collaboration of which is regarded as the first programmer of history, Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron.

Babbage difference engine
Although it failed its purpose, Charles Babbage laid the basic principles of modern computers, such as the concept of program or basic instructions (which are fed into the machine independently of the data), the use of memory to retain results and the arithmetic unit. Machine Babbage, built exclusively with mechanical parts and a multitude of gearwheels, used the punch cards for the introduction of data and programs, and printed on paper the results with techniques very similar to which were used until the mid-1970s.
In the company of Ada Lovelace, used much of his time in the publication of the ideas of his teacher, Babbage devoted his last years and resources to an infallible machine that was able to predict the winners of horse races. In honor of Lady Ada Lovelace, the Department of Defense of the United States named a high-level computer programming language ADA.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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