Computability in Europe 2008
Logic and Theory of Algorithms

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Special Session Talk:
The algorithm concept - tool for historiographic interpretation or red herring?

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Speaker: Jens Høyrup

Abstract

With Starting point in Donald Knuth's paper "Ancient Babylonian
Algorithms", and using the algebraic reading of pre-Modern
mathematical texts as a parallel, the paper discusses the relevance
of the algorithm concept, on one hand as an analytical tool for the
understanding and comparison of mathematical procedures, on the
other as a possible key to how pre-Modern reckoners THOUGHT their
mathematics and to how they thought ABOUT it.


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