What is computation?

What is computation?

What is computation? On computation, knowledge, primitives, languages, semantics, and Python basics.

This series is based on the course 6.0001 Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python_. _All articles following this series are my personal notes on the lectures.

What do computers do?

In our everyday life, computers play a pivotal role. As computers gradually improve and transform into faster and better versions, increasing in complexity and structure, what they do can be broken down into two simple things. And that is (1) performing calculations and (2) storing results.

The billions of calculations per second that computers perform have two kinds, the ones (1) built-in to the languages and the ones (2) you define as a programmer (written programs). Basically, computers only know what you tell them to do, without the help of software engineers and programmers writing beautiful code, computers are just blocks of machines (with the exception of self-conscious AI).

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