3 Great Insights Of Computer Science:

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  1. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s, George Boole’s, Alan Turing’s, Claude Shannon’s, and Samuel Morse’s insight:

All the information about any computable problem can be represented using only 0 and 1 (or any other bistable pair that can flip-flop between two easily distinguishable states, such as “on/off”, “magnetized/de-magnetized”, “high-voltage/low-voltage”, etc.).

2. Alan Turing’s insight:
There are only five actions that a computer has to perform in order to do “anything”. Every algorithm can be expressed in a language for a computer consisting of only five basic instructions:

  • move left one location;
  • move right one location;
  • read symbol at current location;
  • print 0 at current location;
  • print 1 at current location.

3. Corrado Böhm and Giuseppe Jacopini’s insight:
There are only three ways of combining these actions (into more complex ones) that are needed in order for a computer to do “anything”.

  • sequence: first do this, then do that;
  • selection: IF such-and-such is the case, THEN do this, ELSE do that;
  • repetition: WHILE such-and-such is the case DO this.

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