This month's #techspiration is the British polymath Charles Babbage - a world renowned mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer. His work on the "Difference Engine" is credited as precursor to our modern computers which is why he is often referred to as the "father of the computer".
- Charles Babbage was born on the 26th December 1791 in London
- In 1810 studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge and transferred to Petehouse, Cambridge in 1812 – the same year he set up the Analytical Society with John Herschel, George Peacock and some other friends
- Against his father’s will he married Georgina Whitmore in 1815 and had 8 children with her
- With his Cambridge friends he founded the Royal Astronomical Society in 1820
- In 1827 he suffered tremendous heartache when his father, wife and two of his children passed away
- In the 1820s Babbage was working on his Difference Engine, which could perform mathematical calculations
- He also worked on the more complex Analytical Engine – the reason why he is called a computer pioneer now because it was intended to be able to perform any arithmetical calculation
- During 1828 – 1839 he was professor of mathematics at University of Cambridge, although interestingly he never gave a lecture
- The British mathematician Ada Lovelace completed one of his programs for the Analytical Engine, but unfortunately he never got to see the completed work
- Charles Babbage passed away at his home in London on 18th October 1871.
What makes him great?
Charles Babbage was a real prodigy. He was not just interested in mathematics but also an inventor, philosopher and even a political economist. His genius paved the way for modern computing and we owe a significant amount to his work.
Why she’s a ‘techspiration’ to Claritas
He is a true techspiration to us because he was always pushing the boundaries and ruthlessly seeking his end goal, even through a significant amount of personal heartache and financial constraints, he worked tirelessly to achieve greatness.
Our favourite quote
As soon as an Analytical Engine exists, it will necessarily guide the future course of science.