Computer Sciences

Designing lightweight glass for efficient cars and wind turbines

A new machine-learning algorithm for exploring lightweight, very stiff glass compositions can help design next-gen materials for more efficient vehicles and wind turbines. Glasses can reinforce polymers to generate composite ...

Hi Tech & Innovation

Computational poetry: How machines create art

The World Poetry Day on 21 March celebrates the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. While many consider art and math to be two disconnected concepts, the University of Luxembourg excels ...

Business

Amazon faces new role in virus crisis: lifeline

Amazon is finding itself in a new role in the coronavirus crisis as hunkered-down consumers increasingly turn to the tech giant for anything from toilet tissue to streaming television.

Consumer & Gadgets

Apple brings PC-like trackpad to iPad tablets

Apple's new iPad brings PC-like trackpad capabilities for the first time, as the company seeks to make its tablet even more like a laptop computer.

Machine learning & AI

Optical character recognition for graffiti

Researchers in China have recognised that optical character recognition (OCR) has matured and can identify and extract information from documents that use standard writing styles. However, the world over people have very ...

page 1 from 47

Computer

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions.

Although mechanical examples of computers have existed through much of recorded human history, the first electronic computers were developed in the mid-20th century (1940–1945). These were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs). Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into a wristwatch, and can be powered by a watch battery. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". The embedded computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are however the most numerous.

The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile, distinguishing them from calculators. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a certain minimum capability is, in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. Therefore computers ranging from a mobile phone to a supercomputer are all able to perform the same computational tasks, given enough time and storage capacity.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA