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A new book on the history of computer science The Second Age of Computer Science: From Algol Genes to Neural Nets by Subrata Dasgupta, professor in the School of Computing and Informatics, has just been published by Oxford University Press. This book, which covers the period 1970-1990, is Dasgupta's second volume on the history of computer science, continuing the story left off in It Began with Babbage (2014).

This book describes the evolution of computer science in this second age in the form of seven overlapping, intermingling, parallel histories that unfold concurrently in the course of the two decades. Certain themes characteristic of this second age thread through this narrative: the desire for a genuine science of computing; the realization that computing is as much a human experience as it is a technological one; the search for a unified theory of intelligence spanning machines and mind; the desire to liberate the computational mind from the shackles of sequentiality; and, most ambitiously, a quest to subvert the very core of the computational paradigm itself. We see how the computer scientists of the second age address these desires and challenges, in what manner they succeed or fail and how, along the way, the shape of computational paradigm was altered.

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