# Position paper - What does it mean to compute - Essay Example

Summary
Thus it may refer to calculations of any kind. More specifically speaking, however the word compute is usually associated with the workings of the present day computing machines like hand held devices, computers,…

## Extract of sample "Position paper - What does it mean to compute"

Download file to see previous pages It was decades ago that he presented the concept of a machines that would be able to calculate input variables in accordance with a function that would be provided to it. The much acclaimed Turing Test then evolved that distinguished a man from a computing machine and narrated that the better a computing machine is to the conceptual understanding of a man the batter it is.
Later on, based on Turing’s principles, modern day computers were evolved from a simple calculator where the function that required to be executed is now replaced by a program. A program in itself is a series of steps that need to be executed so as to calculate or rather ‘compute’ something.
“The fact is the notion of computing is a generalized concept which is essentially divorced from any physical or biological mechanism. There are two models of computation which are widely used today-both are exactly equivalent in power. One is a purely function and logic based formalism invented by the mathematician Alonzo Church called the Lambda Calculus. The other is an abstract device formalism invented by the mathematician Alan Turing called the Turing Machine.” (University of New Mexico, n.d.)
The above is an excerpt from a document at the University of New Mexico Department of Computer Science website. The models of computation discussed in the statement above were discovered in those early times when mathematicians were busy finding out ways to automate their mathematical calculations.
It was then that Turing Machine became the first device that was actually attempting to compute something. It was made up of an extremely long tape. The tape was being read by a single head. There were either 0s or 1s inscribed on the tape. The concept of finite states could also be incorporated into the machine. To date, so far, no machine has been able to compute better than done on the principles of the Turing Machine. This is meaning to say that though the modern ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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