The Mathematical Work of Charles Babbage

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Cambridge University Press, 2004 M02 12 - 244 pages
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is today remembered mainly for his attempt to complete his difference and analytical engines, the principles of which anticipate the major ideas of the modern digital computer. This book describes the evolution of Babbage's work on the design and implementation of the engines by means of a detailed study of his early mathematical investigations. Babbage is an almost legendary figure of the Victorian era, yet relatively little is known about him and no authoritative account of his life and work has appeared. He was primarily a mathematician and his early working life was devoted mainly to the study of pure mathematics. While containing much biographical information, this book concentrates on this crucial aspect of Babbage's work.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
British mathematics 180030
10
The Analytical Society
31
The calculus of functions
51
The Philosophy of Analysis
93
Miscellaneous papers in analysis probability and geometry
131
Notation
154
Babbage and his computers
173
Conclusion
220
mathematical books and papers
230
Index
232
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