Gefter Context Paper Pitts grew up in a rather poor area with an abusive father. McCulloch meanwhile grew up in a well-to-do family with ample resources and a well-rounded education. They are the Prince and the Pauper. Their share connection is the early exposure to Russell’s Principia Mathematica, which proved to have formidable effect on their conception of neuroscience using the language of logic. In great discoveries, we often see a pairing of individual inventors.
Shannon 1938 Shannon was inspired by Boole. His work augments the bit calculation and logical systematization used by Boole. Any circuit is represented by a set of equations, the terms of the equations corresponding to the various relays and switches in the circuit. It’s interesting to note, in Shannon’s case, we are looking specifically at formalizing the notation of circuits using mathematics. This is a time where physics and electrical engineering were more developed.
Hilbert Paper David Hilbert, a German mathematician challenged colleagues with a list of 23 unsolved problems. The Russian mathematician Yuri Matiyasevich proved that problem 10 was unsolvable. This problem was whether a diophantine equation is solvable over the integers We must know. We shall know. History teaches the continuity of the development of science. Every age has its own problems so we must let these unsettled questions, as Professor Lewis argues.
John von Neumann had incredible breadth, one of the great thinkers of the 2oth century. Very gregarious and articulate. He studied at Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies. One place to store memory. Von Neumann knew about Turing. Turing’s paper influenced the way Neumann was thinking about the way to design a computer. He stayed at the institute. Pretty young, 54 or something, had cancer. Von Neumann, Herman Goldstein, Arthur Burks Paper Burke describes computers in a very similar manner in which doctors describes patients.
Lovelace Paper Ada Lovelace is considered by many to have been the first computer programmer. Lovelace’s work previously built on the work of Babbage, who created a “Difference Engine” that was a system that calculated values of polynomials using accumulating differences. It’s really interesting that Ada Augusta, happens to be the daughter of the great romantic poet Lord Byron! That is one brilliant family, of great poets and computer scientists.
George Boole Paper One quote I really enjoy is this one: They are either inductive inferences from a large body of facts, the common truth in which they express, or, in their origin at least, physical hypotheses of a causal nature serving to explain phænomena with undeviating precision, and to enable us to predict new combinations of them. It appears that a central argument made is that truth is dependent on relations between elements, most notably premises of logical arguments and other implied elements being made.