2016 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

# 3. Foundations of Computing

Published in:
Introduction to the History of Computing

## Abstract

This chapter discusses the foundations of computing, including the binary number system and the step reckoner calculating machine, which were invented by Leibniz. The difference engine was designed by Babbage to evaluate polynomials and to produce accurate mathematical tables. Babbage’s design of the analytic engine provided the vision of a modern computer, and he envisaged that it would be analogous to the operation of the Jacquard loom, which is designed to weave (i.e. execute on the loom) a design pattern represented by a set of cards. Boole’s symbolic logic provides the foundation for digital computing.