Dear friends!
This page contains the information about International Symposium
"Computers in Europe. Past, Present and Future", October 5-9, Kyiv, 1998


International symposium on the contribution
of Europeans to the evolution
and the achievements of computer technology

Dedicated to:
Computer Pioneers of European countries,
80 anniversary of National Academy of Science of Ukraine,
75 anniversary of Academician V.Glushkov birth,
50 years of computer science and technology in Ukraine

October 5-9, 1998


Content of Proceedings

General information

At the end of the 20-th century we have truly embarked on the information age led by the developments over the past 60 or so years of computer and communications technology. It is an appropriate time to meet, discuss and publish full and objective material about the European contribution to the history of information technology and its usage and to speculate on what impact it might have on our future.
The first computers were used primarily for military purposes - breaking enemy codes, computing trajectories of missiles, calculations essential for making nuclear bombs etc - and hence the secrecy of their applications first in the second world war, and later in the years of the "cold war" and the "iron curtain" between East and West, resulted in blank spaces in the documented history of computing.
Now all this is in the past and we can realistically summarize and evaluate the substantial contribution of all European countries to computer and communications technology.
Some of the key events leading us to the information age were:

  • 1790 - 1800 De Prony (France) organized the preparation of the "Tables du Cadastre"
  • 1822 - 1846 Charles Babbage (England) proposed the automation of table making first with his Difference Engine and then with his ideas for an all purpose Analytical Engine - the first notion of a digital computer working under program control
  • 1834 - 1852 Georg and Edvard Scheutz (Sweden) built first working Difference Engine for table making
  • 1938 - 1941 Konrad Zuse (Germany) created the first working program controlled computer, based on electro-mechanical relays
  • 1940 - 1943 Alan Turing (England) designed, first a mechanical, and (1943), the electronic "Colossus" code breaking computer
  • 1944 - 1945 John von Neumann (Hungarian born and educated, but working in USA) developed notion of the stored program computer
  • 1947 - 1949 Frederic Williams (England, Manchester University) and Maurice Wilkes (England, Cambridge University) independently designed, built and demonstrated a stored program computer
  • 1948 - 1951 Sergei Lebedev (Ukraine, Kyiv) created the MESM first stored program computer in continental Europe.
  • 1949 - 1951 J.Lyons (England) a food processing company, designed and brought into productive use the world's first business computer, using the design of the Cambridge University Computer EDSAC (Wilkes) as a basis.
In practice little is known of the importance of Europe to the evolution of the technology. Hence it was thought timely to celebrate the European contribution with a symposium, to be held in Kyiv, the city which saw the first productive electronic stored program computer in continental Europe to see service. The outcome is this invitation to participate in the All Europe Symposium and Exhibition dedicated to the European pioneers of the information age.


|Books |Museums |