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Gresham College: Prof.Raymond Flood – Great Mathematicians, Great Mathematics – #9/12 – Babbage and Lovelace

27/06/2019

An excellent series delivered by Professor Raymond Flood

About this lecture

The central figure of 19th-century computing was Charles Babbage (1791-1871), who may be said to have pioneered the modern computer age with his ‘difference engines’ and his ‘analytical engine’, although his influence on subsequent generations is hard to assess. Ada, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), daughter of Lord Byron and a close friend of Babbage, produced a perceptive commentary on the powers and potential of the analytical engine; this was essentially an introduction to what we now call programming.

About the lecture series

 A series of lectures to look at the personality and some of the work of a number of famous mathematicians and then discuss more recent developments and applications..

Professor Raymond Flood

Raymond Flood has spent most of his academic life promoting mathematics and computing to adult audiences, mainly through his position as University Lecturer at Oxford University, in the Continuing Education Department and at Kellogg College. In parallel he has worked extensively on the history of mathematics, producing many books and writing diverse educational material.

He is Emeritus Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, having been Vice-President of the College and President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics before retiring in 2010. He is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast; Linacre College, Oxford; and University College, Dublin where he obtained his PhD.

He enjoys communicating mathematics and its history to non-specialist audiences, as he has done recently on BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time and on transatlantic voyages with the QM2. Two of the most recent books with which he has been involved are The Great Mathematicians, which celebrates the achievements of the great mathematicians in their historical context, and Mathematics in Victorian Britain,which assembles into a single resource research on the history of mathematicians that would otherwise be out of reach of the general reader.

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