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The programming language as a musical instrument
 In Proceedings of PPIG05 (Psychology of Programming Interest Group
, 2005
"... Abstract. This paper considers how to achieve new creative advances in the design of programming languages. It is based on the analysis of a single application domain, the practice of Live Coding in a new area of musical performance known as “Laptop ” music. Analysis of live coding as a context for ..."
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Abstract. This paper considers how to achieve new creative advances in the design of programming languages. It is based on the analysis of a single application domain, the practice of Live Coding in a new area of musical performance known as “Laptop ” music. Analysis of live coding as a context for programming allows us to escape the implicit assumptions of the commercial office environment in which so much enduser programming has been studied. The programming environments of the future, with increasing deployment of ubiquitous computing technologies, will be unlike offices in many ways. We can prepare for this future by studying extreme varieties of programming today. Live coding is thus an ideal research opportunity for psychology of programming 1
Computations via experiments with kinematic systems
, 2004
"... Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be des ..."
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Consider the idea of computing functions using experiments with kinematic systems. We prove that for any set A of natural numbers there exists a 2dimensional kinematic system BA with a single particle P whose observable behaviour decides n ∈ A for all n ∈ N. The system is a bagatelle and can be designed to operate under (a) Newtonian mechanics or (b) Relativistic mechanics. The theorem proves that valid models of mechanical systems can compute all possible functions on discrete data. The proofs show how any information (coded by some A) can be embedded in the structure of a simple kinematic system and retrieved by simple observations of its behaviour. We reflect on this undesirable situation and argue that mechanics must be extended to include a formal theory for performing experiments, which includes the construction of systems. We conjecture that in such an extended mechanics the functions computed by experiments are precisely those computed by algorithms. We set these theorems and ideas in the context of the literature on the general problem “Is physical behaviour computable? ” and state some open problems.
What is Programming?
 In Proceedings of PPIG 2002
, 2002
"... Research into the cognitive aspects of programming originated in the study of professional programmers (either experts or those learning to program). As personal computers become widespread, and most new domestic appliances incorporate microprocessors, many more people are engaging in programmingli ..."
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Research into the cognitive aspects of programming originated in the study of professional programmers (either experts or those learning to program). As personal computers become widespread, and most new domestic appliances incorporate microprocessors, many more people are engaging in programminglike activities. Some of these are studied as "enduser" programmers, by analogy to professional programming, but many encounter tasks and contexts completely unlike conventional programming. This paper analyses the generic nature of these new kinds of programming, identifies the cognitive demands that characterize them, and presents one possibility for a cognitive model of programming whose development was driven by these concerns.
On Alan Turing's Anticipation Of Connectionism
, 1996
"... It is not widely realised that Turing was probably the first person to consider building computing machines out of simple, neuronlike elements connected together into networks in a largely random manner. Turing called his networks `unorganised machines'. By the application of what he described ..."
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It is not widely realised that Turing was probably the first person to consider building computing machines out of simple, neuronlike elements connected together into networks in a largely random manner. Turing called his networks `unorganised machines'. By the application of what he described as 'appropriate interference, mimicking education' an unorganised machine can be trained to perform any task that a Turing machine can carry out, provided the number of 'neurons' is sufficient. Turing proposed simulating both the behaviour of the network and the training process by means of a computer program. We outline Turing's connectionist project of 1948.
The Analogue Computer as a Scientific Instrument
"... The users of analogue computing employed techniques that have important similarities to the ways scientific instruments have been used historically. Analogue computing was for many years an alternative to digital computing, and historians often frame the emergence of analogue computing as a developm ..."
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The users of analogue computing employed techniques that have important similarities to the ways scientific instruments have been used historically. Analogue computing was for many years an alternative to digital computing, and historians often frame the emergence of analogue computing as a development from various mathematical instruments. These instruments employed analogies to create artefacts that embodied some aspect of theory. Ever since the phrase 'analogue computing ' was first used in the 1940s, a central example of analogue technology has been the planimeter, a nineteenth century scientific instrument for area calculation. The planimeter mechanism developed from that of the single instrument to become a component of much larger and more complex instruments designed by Lord Kelvin in the 1870s, and Vannevar Bush in the 1920s. Later definitions of computing would refer to algorithms and numerical calculation, but for Bush emphasis was placed on the cognitive support provided by the machine. He understood his “differential analyser ” to be an instrument that provided a “suggestive auxiliary to precise reasoning ” and under the label “instrumental analysis”, classified all apparatus that “aid[ed] the mind ” of the mathematician. Rather than placing emphasis on automation, an analogue computer provided an environment where the
COMPUTING MACHINERY AND INTELLIGENCE BY A.M.TURING 1 The Imitation Game
"... I PROPOSE to consider the question, 'Can machines think? ' This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms 'machine 'and 'think'. The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangero ..."
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I PROPOSE to consider the question, 'Can machines think? ' This should begin with definitions of the meaning of the terms 'machine 'and 'think'. The definitions might be framed so as to reflect so far as possible the normal use of the words, but this attitude is dangerous. If the meaning of the words 'machine ' and 'think 'are to be found by examining how they are commonly used it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the meaning and the answer to the question, 'Can machines think? ' is to be sought in a statistical survey such as a Gallup poll. But this is absurd. Instead of attempting such a definition I shall replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words. The new form of the problem can be described ' in terms of a game which we call the 'imitation game'. It is played with three people, a man (A), a woman (B), and an interrogator (C) who may be of either sex. The interrogator stays in a room apart from the other two. The object of the game for the interrogator is to determine which of the other two is the man and which is the woman. He knows them by labels X and Y, and at the end of the game he says either 'X is A and Y is B ' or 'X is B and Y is A'. The interrogator is allowed to put questions to A and B thus: C: Will X please tell me the length of his or her hair?
The Differential Analyzer of Vannevar Bush is a machine for solving
, 2007
"... differential equations with reasonable boundary conditions. The original differential analyzer at MIT was capable of solving ”ordinary differential equations of any order up to the sixth, and with any amount of complexity within reason. ” (Bush, 451) An example of an equation that can be solved usin ..."
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differential equations with reasonable boundary conditions. The original differential analyzer at MIT was capable of solving ”ordinary differential equations of any order up to the sixth, and with any amount of complexity within reason. ” (Bush, 451) An example of an equation that can be solved using the differential analyzer follows (a machine configuration for the equation will be presented in section 2): d2x dx + k + g = 0 (1) dt2 dt An analog machine like the differential analyzer is uniquely suited for the solution of such equations, since the solutions involve the integration of continuous functions. In fact, the machine is actually configured as a mechanical representation of the equation to be modelled. The machine consists of a number of bus shafts, which can provide the input or accept the output of a number of functional units. Functional units are attached to the bus shafts by the use of spiral gear boxes, which allows the machine to be specialized for a wide variety of equations. The machine is ”programmed ” by applying appropriate interconnections of bus shafts, functional units, and input and output tables. 2 Example Machine Configuration Recall equation one (1) from above; rearranging the equation yields: dx = − k dt dx + g dt (2) dt The schematic in FIG. 1 follows more naturally from this arrangement. Note for the input to that the output of the integrator labelled II provides dx dt integrator II: � k dx dt + g �. The output also drives the input to integrator I, which has as its output the function x. Here the constant g is provided using an input table, so that it can be easily changed, while the constant multiplicative factor k has been introduced using a spur gear box. The output table has been set to record the dependent variable x and its derivative as functions of the independent variable t. 1 Figure 1. It was customary in schematics such as these, which represent the basic conceptual layout of the machine, to omit indications of sign and relative scales. In fact, a lefthand spiral gear box should connect the output of II with the input of I, to accurately reflect the equation. 3
www.springerreference.com/docs/html/chapterdbid/60497.html Mechanical Computing: The Computational Complexity of Physical Devices
"...  Mechanism: A machine or part of a machine that performs a particular task computation: the use of a computer for calculation. Computable: Capable of being worked out by calculation, especially using a computer. Simulation: Used to denote both the modeling of a physical system by a computer as we ..."
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 Mechanism: A machine or part of a machine that performs a particular task computation: the use of a computer for calculation. Computable: Capable of being worked out by calculation, especially using a computer. Simulation: Used to denote both the modeling of a physical system by a computer as well as the modeling of the operation of a computer by a mechanical system; the difference will be clear from the context. Definition of the Subject Mechanical devices for computation appear to be largely displaced by the widespread use of microprocessorbased computers that are pervading almost all aspects of our lives. Nevertheless, mechanical devices for computation are of interest for at least three reasons: (a) Historical: The use of mechanical devices for computation is of central importance in the historical study of technologies, with a history dating back thousands of years and with surprising applications even in relatively recent times. (b) Technical & Practical: The use of mechanical devices for computation persists and has not yet been completely displaced by widespread use of microprocessorbased computers. Mechanical computers have found applications in various emerging technologies at the microscale that combine mechanical functions with computational and control functions not feasible by purely electronic processing. Mechanical computers also have been demonstrated at the molecular scale, and may also provide unique capabilities at that scale. The physical designs for these modern micro and molecularscale mechanical computers may be based on the prior designs of the largescale mechanical computers constructed in the past. (c) Impact of Physical Assumptions on Complexity of Motion Planning, Design, and Simulation: The study of computation done by mechanical devices is also of central importance in providing lower bounds on the computational resources such as time and/or space required to simulate a mechanical system