Artifact Details


Great Principles of Computing, lecture by Peter J. Denning

Catalog Number



Moving image




Denning, Peter J.


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, CA, US




From abstract: " Computing is no longer a science of the artificial. It is a science of natural information processes. The remarkable shift to this realization occurred only in the last decade.

Computing is mature enough to be described in terms of its fundamental principles. The principles reveal computing's deep structure and how it applies in many fields. They reveal common aspects of technology and create opportunities for innovation. They open entirely new ways to stimulate the excitement and curiosity of young people about the world of computing.

In the 1940s, computation was seen as a tool for solving equations, cracking codes, analyzing data, and managing business processes. By the 1980s, computation had advanced to become a new method in science, joining the traditional theory and experiment. During the 1990s, computation advanced even further as people in many fields discovered they were dealing with information processes buried in their deep structures -- for example, quantum waves in physics, DNA in biology, brain patterns in cognitive science, information flows in economic systems. Computation has entered everyday life with new ways to solve problems, new forms of art, music, motion pictures, and commerce, new approaches to learning, and even new slang expressions.

Peter Denning will share his work on the great principles of computing. His taxonomy will help you understand
computing and how it works in your world. You will see what makes computing great and of lasting value.

In 1936, Alan Turing wrote that computation is unavoidable. He was right."



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