TEST YOUR NERD KNOWLEDGE: November 9, 2021
Here’s a review of this eek’s questions:
- What is the name of the supercomputer that recently defended its title as the world’s fastest supercomputer?
- Who is the Victorian mathematician widely regarded as the “First Computer Programmer?”
- What did IBM engineer Alan Shugart invent in 1971?
And here are the answers:
- The Fugaku supercomputer, developed by Fujitsu and Japan’s national research institute RIKEN, recently defended its title for the third year in a row as the world’s fastest supercomputer, beating competitors from China and the U.S. Today’s supercomputers are around 20 million times more powerful than a smartphone.Fujitsu has been an innovator in the tech industry since 1935. RIKEN celebrated a “Century of Discovery” in 2017, having been at the forefront of progressive and innovative scientific endeavors since 1917.
- Ada Lovelace was born in England in 1815. She was the daughter of Annabella Byron and Romantic poet Lord Byron but exhibited skills for math and science similar to those of her mother at an early age. Lovelace’s opportunity for infamy came when she met Charles Babbage, the renowned mathematician who would become her friend and mentor. Together they worked on the project known as the “Analytical Engine,” a hulking machine with thousands of cogwheels that could perform more functions with greater accuracy. Lovelace served as its key interpreter. The calculations and algebraic patterns that Lovelace contributed were, of course, credited to numerous male engineers. Her findings were described as, “the science of operations, as derived from mathematics, and therefore a science of itself, having its own abstract truth and value.”
- Alan Shugart was intimately involved in every important juncture of the computer storage industry for more than four decades. Over that time, computer storage systems shrank from monsters the size of large washing machines to compact boxes that fit in the palm of the hand. Shugart started at IBM in 1951 and left in 1972 to start his own company. The first Shugart floppy held 100 KBs of data. Shugart was born in Chino, CA in 1930 and led a fascinating life, both in and out of the technology industry. He died in 2006 at the age of 76.