Algorithms and Automatic Computing Machines (1963) is a groundbreaking book that examines the fundamental principles of computer science and the development of early automatic computing machines. Written by Bernard A. Galler and George A. Miller, two prominent figures in the field of computer science, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the theoretical foundations of algorithms and the practical applications of automatic computing machines.
The book is divided into two parts, with the first part focusing on algorithms and the second part on automatic computing machines. In the first part, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of algorithmic theory, including the concept of algorithmic complexity, the analysis of algorithms, and the design of algorithms for specific problems. They also discuss the different types of algorithms, including sorting, searching, and graph algorithms, and explore their applications in various fields.
In the second part of the book, the authors delve into the development of automatic computing machines, beginning with the earliest mechanical devices and leading up to the electronic computers of the 1960s. They examine the design and architecture of these machines, including the use of stored programs, input/output devices, and memory systems. The authors also discuss the programming languages used to write programs for these machines, such as assembly language and higher-level languages like Fortran and COBOL.
One of the key contributions of this book is its emphasis on the importance of algorithms and their role in the development of computing machines. The authors argue that algorithms are the foundation of computer science and are essential for solving complex problems in a wide range of fields. They also highlight the importance of automatic computing machines in revolutionizing scientific research, engineering, and business operations.
Despite being published in 1963, Algorithms and Automatic Computing Machines remains relevant today as a foundational text in computer science. Its insights into algorithmic theory and automatic computing machines continue to inform the development of new technologies, and its historical perspective offers valuable insights into the evolution of computing. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history and future of computing.