Jean-Luc Chabert, et al.: A History of Algorithms: From the Pebble to the Microchip (1994–) [French, English]

11 September 2014, dusan

A source book for the history of mathematics, but one which offers a different perspective by focusing on algorithms. With the development of computing has come an awakening of interest in algorithms. Often neglegted by historians and modern scientists, more concerned with the nature of concepts, algorithmic procedures turn out to have been instrumental in the development of fundamental ideas: practice led to theory just as much as the other way round. The purpose of this book is to offer a historical background to contemporary algorithmic practice. Each chapter centres around a theme, more or less in chronological order, and the story is told through the reading of over 200 original texts, faithfully reproduced. This provides an opportunity for the reader to sit alongside such mathematicians as Archimedes, Omar Khayyam, Newton, Euler and Gauss as they explain their techniques. The book ends with an account of the development of the modern concept of algorithm.

With Évelyne Barbin, Michel Guillemot, Anne Michel-Pajus, Jacques Borowczyk, Ahmed Djebbar, and Jean-Claude Martzloff
Publisher Belin, Paris, 1994
ISBN 2701113466, 9782701113463
591 pages

English edition
Translated by Chris Weeks
Publisher Springer, 1999
ISBN 3540633693
524 pages

Publisher (FR, new edition)
Publisher (EN)

Histoire d’algorithmes: du caillou à la puce (French, DJVU, 10 MB)
A History of Algorithms: From the Pebble to the Microchip (English, DJVU, 6 MB)

See also, a platform for viewing, creating and sharing algorithms.

Stephen Ramsay: Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism (2011)

22 January 2013, dusan

“Rethinking digital literary criticism by situating computational work within the broader context of the humanities

Besides familiar and now-commonplace tasks that computers do all the time, what else are they capable of? Stephen Ramsay’s intriguing study of computational text analysis examines how computers can be used as “reading machines” to open up entirely new possibilities for literary critics. Computer-based text analysis has been employed for the past several decades as a way of searching, collating, and indexing texts. Despite this, the digital revolution has not penetrated the core activity of literary studies: interpretive analysis of written texts.

Computers can handle vast amounts of data, allowing for the comparison of texts in ways that were previously too overwhelming for individuals, but they may also assist in enhancing the entirely necessary role of subjectivity in critical interpretation. Reading Machines discusses the importance of this new form of text analysis conducted with the assistance of computers. Ramsay suggests that the rigidity of computation can be enlisted by intuition, subjectivity, and play.”

Publisher University of Illinois Press, 2011
Topics in the Digital Humanities series
ISBN 0252078209, 9780252078200
98 pages

Review: Matt Schneider (Digital Studies).



Matthias Scheutz (ed.): Computationalism: New Directions (2002)

17 December 2012, dusan

“Classical computationalism—-the view that mental states are computational states—-has come under attack in recent years. Critics claim that in defining computation solely in abstract, syntactic terms, computationalism neglects the real-time, embodied, real-world constraints with which cognitive systems must cope. Instead of abandoning computationalism altogether, however, some researchers are reconsidering it, recognizing that real-world computers, like minds, must deal with issues of embodiment, interaction, physical implementation, and semantics.

This book lays the foundation for a successor notion of computationalism. It covers a broad intellectual range, discussing historic developments of the notions of computation and mechanism in the computationalist model, the role of Turing machines and computational practice in artificial intelligence research, different views of computation and their role in the computational theory of mind, the nature of intentionality, and the origin of language.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2002
ISBN 0262194783, 9780262194785
209 pages