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Unformatted text preview: altech CS 1 Fall 2008 CS1: Introduction to Computation Day 16: November 19, 2008 Matter Computes altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981) altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Deep Thoughts • Deep Thought: a physical computer – Computing the answer to the question of life, the universe and everything – The answer alone isn’t sufficient – need to know the question! • Deep Thought proposes building a larger computer to figure out the actual question – …called… THE EARTH! (ooo) • A physical object that embodies computation altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Caltech is about • Understanding the physical world: – physics – chemistry – biology • Using this understanding to gain mastery over the physical world. altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Computer Science is about …automated processing of information. • Big idea 1: – Write deterministic instructions which can be executed mechanically and compute most functions. altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Computer Science is about …automated processing of information. • Big idea 2: – Build machines out of the physical world to automatically carry out these instructions. T o d a y altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Caltech and CS • The physical world and information processing are intimately intertwined . Matter Computes altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Today • Idea: Matter Computes – representation of values – physics and computation – boolean logic – arithmetic – finite function – variations on theme altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Idea: Matter Computes • Physics is about laws and relationships that govern matter and energy: Σ F = 0, F = ma, F = kx, … Σ I = 0, V = IR, Δ V = (I Δ T)/C • You perform computations to model how the physical world will behave, which means… altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Matter Computes • The physical world implicitly implements these computations in its behavior: – Springs: F = Kx – Resistors: V = IR – Capacitors: ∫ (I/c) dt • We can exploit these computations to build… altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Matter Computers • Engineer the computations we want, by arranging matter’s own computations in creative ways • If the physical world did not perform computations, it would be impossible to build computing machines! altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Abstract → Concrete • Now for a concrete example! • Build computation out of mechanics: – you all understand mechanics – emphasize physical nature of computation – not just something unique to electronics! altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Computational Medium • Basic building blocks: – Ropes – Pulleys – Springs – Boxes (Example from A.K. Dewdney) altech CS 1 Fall 2008 Step 1: Representation • We need a way to represent logical values (true/false) in our medium....
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2010 for the course CS 1 taught by Professor Chang during the Spring '08 term at UMBC.
 Spring '08
 chang

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