Credits for the original files used in the top image, from top to bottom, left to right

Letter from Ramanujan to G. H. Hardy (fragment)

Link: Original file

Srinivasa Ramanujan was deeply religious and relied on his intuition and insights, which he saw as ‘divine inspiration,’ to make breakthroughs. During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations). Many were completely novel. (Wikipedia)

Alan Turing

Link: Original file

Alan Turing, an English mathematician, is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

Schematics of Intel 4004

Author: Tim Mc Nerney

Link: Original file

The Intel 4004 is the first commercially produced microprocessor, released by Intel Corporation in 1971. It was designed by Italian physicist Federico Faggin.

Quantum computer, IBM

Link: Original file

Author: Pierre Metivier

License: Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Quantum computers promise to reduce the time-complexity of entire classes of problems which are practically unfeasible on classical computers.

Thanks to quantum superposition, a quantum computer can run a huge number of concurrent computations, even though the results are only available to us in a probabilistic way: i.e. by running the computation several times and calculating result statistics.

A diagram of Monte Carlo integration of the area of a circle.

Link: Original file

Monte Carlo methods are examples of usage of random values in computers to solve problems numerically. In the case of finding the are of the circle, repeated random samples from a bidimensional space within the boundary of a unit square are tested for inclusion inside the circle. The ratio between of number of samples inside the circle to the total number of samples will approximate the area of the circle with increasing precision for each additional sample tested.

Quantum tunneling: the transition of wavefunction through a potential barrier.

Link: Original file

Author: Felix Kling

License: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

Quantum tunneling is a phenomenon in which a particle trespasses a barrier of potential that according to classical physics would require more energy than the particle possesses.

This effect observed in quantum physics is what makes transistors possible, therefore enabling the construction of modern electronic computers.

A human embryo

Link: Original file

This 8-cell embryo contains all the information to grow into a whole human being.

Haskell code: factorial


One of the programming languages that most closely resembles mathematics, Haskell allows an astonishing level of abstraction, thanks to a strong static type system, purely functional code and lazy evaluation.

A closeup of the London Science Museum's replica difference engine, built from Babbage's design

Author: Ullrich.c

Link: Original file

Licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic

The difference engine was a mechanical calculator designed in 1820 from Charles Babbage, an English polymath who is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer, and originated the concept of a digital programmable computer.

Terminal and initial object

Link: Original file

Category theory is an abstract branch of mathematics that helped developing strong type systems e.g. in the Haskell language.

The Oslo PDP-7

Link: Original file

The UNIX operating system introduced an elegant set of metaphores for the interaction between human and computer: the concepts embedded in the OS API are still predominant in application development paradigms, and the UNIX shell is the most used tool by system administrators.

This PDP-7 minicomputer was used to develop the first version of UNIX by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernigan and others at the Bell Labs research center in the early 70s.

Birth of the "bit" (1949)

Link: Original file

In this paper Claude Shannon proposed the base-2 logarithm of the inverse probability of an event as a measure of the event's amount of information.

From the paper:

"If the base 2 is used the resulting units may be called binary digits, or more briefly bits, a word suggested by J. W. Tukey."

A new kind of science

Link: Original file

Stephen Wolfram, an English-American scientist, inventor and entrepreneur, with his publications on the study of computational systems, is trying to prove that physics can be explained in computational terms. The picture represents the quasi-random output of a simple program used to display how very short algorithms can generate complex non-periodic patterns.

The new supercomputer "Hochleistungsrechner Karlsruhe" (short "HoreKa") in SCC data center at KIT campus north.

Author: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT

Link: Original file