# Babbage Charles

Bab·bage **Charles** 1791-1871

## babbage, charles - Computer Definition

One of the most famous individuals in mathematical history with regard to the “prehistory” development of the computer. His Difference Engine No. 1 was, in fact, the first successful automatic calculator. Because the latter was thought to be one of the better precision-engineered devices of its time, Charles Babbage is sometimes referred to as “the father of computing.”

Born in London, England, on December 26, 1791, Charles Babbage was a gifted young student of algebra who entered Trinity College in Cambridge, England, in 1811. There he reportedly was more advanced than his mathematical tutors. In his twenties, Charles worked as a mathematician in the field of calculus, and in 1816 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Shortly thereafter, he helped to start the Royal Astronomical Society, at which point he acquired an interest in calculating machinery, which became his creative obsession until his death.

See Also: Byron, Ada; Computer.

Charles Babbage Institute. Exhibits: Who Was Charles Babbage? [Online, January 23, 2004.] Charles Babbage Institute Website. http://www.cbi.umn.edu/exhibits/cb/ html.