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Great Ideas of Computing Science: from Aristotle to Euclid

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Great ideas tell us how to think: how to think effectively about many areas of essential interest to us, because they tell us about ourselves and about the world we live in. They embody principles that endure and evolve over a long period of time. They form the basis of a teaching syllabus for the education of students at school and at Universities. The application of great ideas brings cultural, intellectual, moral, and/or economic benefit to those who adopt and exploit them. And a great idea is often associated with the name of a great thinker, who first formulated and propagated the principles in published form.

It is much easier to recognise great ideas that have been formulated a long time ago, for example in the civilization of Ancient Greece. We know that these ideas have already stood the test of time; they have already been taught to our schoolchildren and university students through many generations. And their continuing relevance to today’s world of computers and Computer Science are convincing evidence of their versatility and their enduring power to deliver benefit to mankind.

This lecture will concentrate on Aristotle’s logic, and Euclid’s geometry, and draw interesting analogies with some of the basic principles of Computer Science.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Computing and Technology Society (CUCaTS) series.

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