Publication details

Was Algol 60 the first algorithmic language?



Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Education

Field History
Keywords ALGOL 60; algorithmic language
Description The phrase "algorithmic language" is conspicuously associated with Algol, the acronym first used to name the programming language Algol 60, which originated through a cooperation between the ACM and German Association for Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM) groups of programming specialists. In the 1920s computing real things, solving messy equations, came to be called practical mathematics or numerical analysis, and the techniques to do so were called procedures, schemes, or Verfahren (in German). In the 1950s, however, the venerable notion of an "algorithm" allowed computer users, who were reflecting on developing computing procedures and transferring these to automatic machinery, describe what they thought they were "actually" doing. This article traces the use of the terms "algebraic" to "algorithmic" during the development of the programming language Algol.

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