The Computer Laboratory is an academic department within the University of Cambridge that encompasses Computer Science, along with many aspects of Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics. It consists of 44 academic staff, 30 support staff, 7 research fellows, 102 post-doctoral research workers and 121 Ph.D. students. We have over 300 undergraduates studying for Part I, II and III of the Computer Science Tripos and 36 graduate students studying for the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science.
In the first half of the 20th century, scientist s started using computers, mostly because scientists had a lot of math to figure out and wanted to spend more of their time thinking about science questions instead of spending hours adding numbers together. For example, if they had to launch a rocket ship, they needed to do a lot of math to make sure the rocket worked right. So they put together computers. These analog computer s used analog circuits, which made them very hard to program. In the 1930s, they invented digital computers and soon made them easier to program.
The machine was about a century ahead of its time. All the parts for his machine had to be made by hand — this was a major problem for a device with thousands of parts. Eventually, the project was dissolved with the decision of the British Government to cease funding. Babbage’s failure to complete the analytical engine can be chiefly attributed to difficulties not only of politics and financing but also to his desire to develop an increasingly sophisticated computer and to move ahead faster than anyone else could follow. Nevertheless, his son, Henry Babbage, completed a simplified version of the analytical engine’s computing unit (the mill) in 1888. He gave a successful demonstration of its use in computing tables in 1906.
As the eras, here they compute by the year of the creation, thereby olympiads, by the foundation of Rome, by the birth of Christ, by the epoch of Eusebius, by that of Seleucids, of Nabonassar, of the Martyrs. The Turks have their hegira, the Persians their Yazdegerd. The Julian, Gregorian, Iberian, and Actian eras are also employed in computation.
The focus of the course is to develop the intuitions and mathematics of the methods in lecture, and then to learn about the difference between theory and practice in the problem sets. All algorithms work perfectly in the slides. But remember what Yogi Berra said: In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. (Einstein said something similar but who knows more about real life?) In this course you do not, for the most part, apply high-level library functions but use low to mid-level algorithms to analyze images and extract structural information.