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Mathematics of Computation

ISSN 1088-6842(online) ISSN 0025-5718(print)



Mechanical Aids to Computation

Journal: Math. Comp. 1 (1943), 61-64
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    The article misleads in baldly referring to Babbage as “Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge,” when he held this title for only the eleven years 1828-39, but delivered no lectures. For the first published account of the application of a commercial calculating machine to mechanical integration see L. J. Comrie, “On the application of the Brunsviga-Dupla calculating machine to double summation with finite differences,” R. Astr. So., Mo. Notices, v. 88 1928, p. 447-459. The Brunsviga-Dupla has since been superseded by the Brunsviga 20, the Burroughs, and the National. See also L. J. Comrie, (a) “The application of the Brunsviga Twin 13Z calculating machine to the Hartmann formula for the reduction of prismatic spectograms,” The Observatory, v. 60, 1937, p. 70-73; (b) On the Application of the Brunsviga Twin 13Z Calculating Machine to Artillery Survey, London, Scientific Computing Service, 1938. This latter describes new and original methods of solving problems arising in surveys where rectangular coordinates are used. L. J. Comrie, “Inverse interpolation” and “Scientific applications of the National Accounting Machine,” R. Statist. So., Jn., v. 99, 1936 suppl., v. 3, p. 87-94, 94-114. W. J. Eckert, Punched Card Methods in Scientific Computation, New York, Columbia University, 1940. ix, 136 p. L. J. Comrie, (a) “On the construction of tables by interpolation,” R. Astr. So., Mo. Notices, v. 88, 1928, p. 506-523; (b) “The application of the Hollerith tabulating machine to Brown’s Tables of the Moon,” R. Astr. So., Mo. Notices, v. 92, 1932, p. 694-707; (c) “Application of Hollerith equipment to an agricultural investigation,” R. Statistical So., Jn., v. 100, 1937, Suppl., v. 4, p. 210. This last item has a full description of the equipment and the way in which it may be used for forming sums of products. See also Comrie’s The Hollerith and Powers Tabulating Machines, London, printed for private circulation, 1933, 48 p.; based on lectures, many illustrations. An account of Kelvin’s machines is given in W. Thomson and P. G. Tait, Treatise on Natural Philosophy, new ed., v. 1, pt. 1, Cambridge, 1879, app. B’, p. 479-508. V. Bush, “The differential analyzer. A new machine for solving differential equations,” Franklin Inst., Jn., v. 212, 1931, p. 447-488, well documented. The original machine has been greatly extended and improved. The best simple account of the differential analyzer was by D. R. Hartree in “The mechanical integration of differential equations,"Math. Gazatte, v. 22, 1938, p. 342-363, with five admirable plates, reproductions of photographs. There are also interesting “References” especially to “Applications." V. Bush, “Recent progress in analysing machines,” Proc. Fourth Intern. Congress for Applied Math., Cambridge, England . . . 1934, Cambridge, 1935, p. 3-23. Admirable review of progress to 1934.

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Article copyright: © Copyright 1943 American Mathematical Society