Computer Science changes history, and has been doing for centuries, if not millennia. The Romans used cryptography and steganography. Mary Queen of Scots lost here head because she didn’t know enough computer science. The Victorians created the foundations for the Internet Age. World War II was won not because the Generals were clever but because the computer scientists were always telling them what the other side were about to do. When you understand the computer science that is going on in the background, affecting everything, history can look very different…and computer science looks different when you know its history.
So here is history from a computer science point of view, and computer science from a historical point of view.
Magazines to download
The following magazines include articles on the history of computing.
- Ada Lovelace: Issue 20 of cs4fn Magazine
- In this issue we look at the impact of Ada as well as Victorian Computer Science.
- Alan Turing: the genius who gave us the future: Issue 14 of cs4fn Magazine
- In this issue we look at the impact of Alan Turing: star of World War II and father of computer science.
History (with a twist of Computer Science for Fun)
- The Egyptians
- Egyptian Numerals – number representation
- Hieroglyphs, codes and ciphers (currently lost to the mist of time)
- The Ancient Greeks
- Histiaeus and Bald Steganography
- Eratosthenes and his number sieve (early computational thinking)
- Euclid, proof, GCD and drawing shapes
- Polybius’ Square, sending torch messages and cryptography
- Apollo, Eros, Daphne and the story of the laurel wreath
- Tacticus and the hydraulic semaphore
- The Scytale, an encryption device
- The Romans
- Mosaics (The Romans invented pixels!)
- Why the Romans were pants at Maths (Data Representation, Number Systems)
- Tiro and the Ancient History of Compression Algorithms
- Julius Caeser and cryptography (don’t tell but it’s coming soon)
- The Middle Ages
- The Knights Templar
- The Tudors and Stuarts
- Mary Queen of Scots
- Sir Francis Bacon (ciphers, steganography and the first use of binary to represent characters)
- Robert Recorde (A cunning algorithm to make the harder times tables easy)
- Robert Herrick, English poet (the first use of emoticons)
- The Victorians
- World War II
… and more to come
London History Tour
Take our tour of London and learn some computing as you go, with our computing guide to London’s history.
cs4fn subject portal
There are lots of fun articles on the cs4fn about computer science and history. See the portal:
Here are other websites that include History with links:
- KS3 History Games
- This site has lots of games and puzzles like word searches that are also a chance to teach some computing such as search algorithms.