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Observations on the Notation employed in the Calculus of Functions. (Read May 1. 1820).


London, Cambridge University Press, 1822. 4to. In plain white paper-wrappers with title-page of journal volume pasted on to front wrapper. In "Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society", Volume 1. Fine and clean. Pp. (63)-76 ¶ First appearance of Babbage paper on the notation employed in the Calculus of Functions.

"Babbage's major Contribution to mathematics was his calculus of functions, which he became interested in as early as 1809 and continued to develop during his years at Cambridge. Babbage presents his major ideas on the subject in the above two papers, published in the "Philosophical Transactions" in 1815 and 1816. "It can be said with some assurance that no mathematician prior to Babbage had treated the calculus of functions in such systematic way...Babbage must be given full credit as the inventor of a distinct and importent branch of mathematics" (Dubbey 1978, 90). Elsewhere Dubby states that his new scheme would serve as a generalized calculus to include all problems capable of analytical formulation, and it is possible to see here a hint of the inspiration for his concept of THE ANALYTICAL ENGINE. While the work on the engines and his other scientific, social and political activities caused him virtually to abandon mathematical research at the age of thirty, the calculus of functions was the area he often yearned to continue. In fact the calculus of functions was not taken up by other workers, and it is the aspect of Babbage's mathematical work that modern mathematicians find most fascinating (Dubbey 1989, 18-19)." (Hook a. Norman No. 19).

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