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**Student 1. Read the text about an English mathematician and ask special questions about the gaps. Then fill in the gaps with information pieces from the box below.**

**Babbage **

While Thomas of Colmar was developing the desktop calculator, a series of very interesting developments in computers was started in 1)__________, by Charles Babbage (of which the computer store «Babbages, now GameStop, is named), a mathematics professor. In 1812, Babbage realized that 2)__________. From this he suspected that it should be possible to do these automatically.

He began to design an automatic mechanical calculating machine, which he called 3)__________. By 1822, he had a working model to demonstrate with. With financial help from the British government, Babbage started fabrication of a difference engine in 4) ____. It was intended to be steam powered and fully automatic, including the printing of the resulting tables, and commanded by 5)__________. The difference engine, although having limited adaptability and applicability, was really a great advance. Babbage continued to work on it for the next 10 years, but in 1833 he lost interest because 6)__________ — the construction of what would now be called a general purpose, fully program-controlled, automatic mechanical digital computer. Babbage called this idea an Analytical Engine. The ideas of this design showed a lot of 7)__________, although this couldn’t be appreciated until a full century later. The plans for this engine required 8)_________. The built-in operations were supposed to include everything that a modern general — purpose computer would need, even the all important Conditional Control Transfer Capability that would allow commands to be executed in any order, not just the order in which they were programmed. The analytical engine was soon to use punched cards (similar to those used in a Jacquard loom), which would be read into the machine from several different Reading Stations. The machine was supposed to operate 9)__________, and require only one person there. Babbage’s computers were never finished. Various reasons are used for his failure. Most used is the lack of precision machining techniques at the time. Another speculation is that 10)_________. After Babbage, there was a temporary loss of interest in automatic digital computers. Between 1850 and 1900 great advances were made in mathematical physics, and it came to be known that 11)__________, so that easy means for their calculation would be helpful. Moreover, from a practical view, the availability of steam power caused manufacturing (boilers), transportation (steam engines and boats), and commerce to prosper and led to a period of a lot of engineering achievements. 12)___________required differential calculus to determine such things as: center of gravity, center of buoyancy, moment of inertia, stress distributions. Even 13)__________ needed mathematical integration. A strong need thus developed for a machine 14)__________.

most observable dynamic phenomena can be identified by differential equations (which meant that most events occurring in nature can be measured or described in one equation or another); a fixed instruction program; many long calculations, especially those needed to make mathematical tables, were really a series of predictable actions that were constantly repeated; foresight; Cambridge, England; 1823; automatically, by steam power; a difference engine; the assessment of the power output of a steam engine; he thought he had a better idea; an identical decimal computer operating on numbers of 50 decimal digits (or words) and having a storage capacity (memory) of 1,000 such digits; Babbage was working on a solution of a problem that few people in 1840 really needed to solve; that could rapidly perform many repetitive calculations; the designing of railroads, and the making of steamships, textile mills, and bridges. |

**Student 2. Read the text about an English mathematician and ask special questions about the gaps. Then fill in the gaps with information pieces from the box below.**

Babbage

While Thomas of Colmar was developing the desktop calculator, 1)__________was started in Cambridge, England, by Charles Babbage (of which the computer store «Babbages», now GameStop, is named), a mathematics professor. In 2) ____, Babbage realized that many long calculations, especially those needed to make mathematical tables, were really a series of predictable actions that were constantly repeated. From this 3)__________ suspected that it should be possible to do these automatically.

He began to design an automatic mechanical calculating machine, which he called a difference engine. By 1822, he had 4)__________. With financial help from the British government, Babbage started 5)__________ in 1823. It was intended to be steam powered and fully automatic, including the printing of the resulting tables, and commanded by a fixed instruction program. The difference engine, although having limited adaptability and applicability, was really a great advance. Babbage continued to work on it for 6) __________ years, but in 1833 he lost interest because he thought he had a better idea — 7)__________. Babbage called this idea 8)__________. The ideas of this design showed a lot of foresight, although this couldn’t be appreciated until a full century later. The plans for this engine required an identical decimal computer operating on numbers of 50 decimal digits (or words) and having a storage capacity (memory) of 9)__________. The built-in operations were supposed to include everything that a modern general — purpose computer would need, even the all important Conditional Control Transfer Capability that would allow commands to be executed in any order, not just the order in which they were programmed. The analytical engine was soon to use punched cards (similar to those used in a Jacquard loom), which would be read into the machine from several different Reading Stations. The machine was supposed to operate automatically, by steam power, and require only one person there. Babbage’s computers were never finished. Various reasons are used for his failure. Most used is 10)________. Another speculation is that Babbage was working on a solution of a problem that few people in 1840 really needed to solve. After Babbage, there was a temporary loss of interest in automatic digital computers. Between 1850 and 1900 great advances were made in 11)__________, and it came to be known that most observable dynamic phenomena can be identified by differential equations(which meant that most events occurring in nature can be measured or described in one equation or another), so that easy means for their calculation would be helpful. Moreover, from a practical view, the availability of steam power caused manufacturing (boilers), transportation (steam engines and boats), and commerce to prosper and led to 12)__________. The designing of railroads, and the making of steamships, textile mills, and bridges required 13________.

Even the assessment of the power output of a steam engine needed 14)___________. A strong need thus developed for a machine that could rapidly perform many repetitive calculations.

a period of a lot of engineering achievements; fabrication of a difference engine; 1812; 1,000 such digits; the construction of what would now be called a general purpose, fully program-controlled, automatic mechanical digital computer; a series of very interesting developments in computers; a working model to demonstrate with; he; the next 10 years; differential calculus to determine such things as center of gravity, center of buoyancy, moment of inertia, stress distributions; the lack of precision machining techniques at the time; an Analytical Engine; mathematical physics; mathematical integration. |

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