May 7, 2008

Blog about a classic (computer) science paper

Via Bora Zivkovic, Skulls in the Stars is challenging science bloggers to pick a classic paper in their fields and blog about it:

My “challenge”, for those sciencebloggers who choose to accept it, is this: read and research an old, classic scientific paper and write a blog post about it. I recommend choosing something pre- World War II, as that was the era of hand-crafted, “in your basement”-style science. There’s a lot to learn not only about the ingenuity of researchers in an era when materials were not readily available, but also about the problems and concerns of scientists of that era, often things we take for granted now!

Now, SitS specifies pre-WWII which probably won't work so well for disciplines like computer science so I'm sure people in new disciplines can just improvise with a foundational paper from a more recent time frame.

I'm hoping that some of the computer scientists out there can take this challenge and talk about some of the important papers from their fields. In particular, I can see this as being a useful classroom exercise as well.

In any case, to get the creative juices flowing, I'd like to point out that Wikipedia has a List of Important Publications in Computer Science page.

A couple that jump out at me that would be fun to see blogged:

Update: In the comments, Bora points out that SitS has updated the challenge:
Now that I’ve actually written my “classic science” blog post, I realized I didn’t plan any way to compile all the entries in the end! If you accept the “challenge” (I keep putting the word in quotes because I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to be confrontational), and post an entry, send me an email! I’ve put together a permanent page to compile all the entries together in one easy to find spot.

(I think I didn’t plan ahead because I didn’t think anyone was actually reading my blog!) :)

One final note: Just to have an end date associated with the challenge, let’s mark the end of May as the official end date; I’ll do a summary post at the end about everyone’s entries.

7 comments:

David J. Fiander said...

Pre- and mid- World War II computer literature is some of the most important there is. While Turing's "Computing machinery and intelligence" gets all the popular press, it's actually not that useful from a practical point of view (and it's also post-war).

How about

Turing, A.M. 1937. Computability and λ-Definability. Journal of Symbolic Logic, 2.

or his "On computable numbers"?

And he was building on Church's λ-calculus work.

(Now that I know how to generate a 'λ'on my keyboard, I'm creating a read macro so that I can use it instead of 'lambda' in my function definitions.)

John Dupuis said...

Point taken, David. But the pre-1945 literature will be mostly mathematical in nature, leaving out pretty well anything on programming languages, operating systems, databases, AI...

coturnix said...

Update:

http://skullsinthestars.com/2008/05/07/update-on-my-challenge-to-science-bloggers/

albachtimi said...

computer in pre-world war II was very big in the size... We have to say thanks for people who have developed computer in that era so that computer be like now.

cheap computers said...

Its good and i'm hoping that some of the computer scientists out there can take this challenge and talk about some of the important papers from their fields.

john beck said...

I think its the world's leading purely functional programming language that offers a radical and elegant attack on the whole business of writing programs.

Tax Liens said...

Its good and i'm hoping that some of the computer scientists out there can take this challenge and talk about some of the important papers from their fields.