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Analog Computation in a Digital World: Understanding the Place of a Bygone...

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Linda Hall Library

5109 Cherry Street

Kansas City, MO 64110

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The lecture

Analog computers were once the dominant computing machines in engineering and science but have now been almost completely replaced by digital computers. While there are practical reasons for preferring digital computers over analog, there are theoretical reasons to rehabilitate our understanding of analog computation. Neuroscientists and cognitive scientists, for example, routinely explain the workings of our minds by appealing to the computations that the brain performs. But, because these computations seem to be analog, rather than digital, we need to know more about what “analog” means.

In this lecture, Dr. Corey Maley will discuss how research into the history of analog computers allows us to understand computation in a non-digital way. While the history of digital computation is well-understood, the history of analog computation has received very little attention. He will also show how this broader understanding of computation helps make sense of contemporary claims about the computational nature of the mind and brain.

The speaker

Corey Maley is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas. He completed his PhD in philosophy at Princeton University, and his BS and BA at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He focuses on two areas of research: the role of computation in scientific explanation, and the nature of moral emotions such as guilt and shame.

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Linda Hall Library

5109 Cherry Street

Kansas City, MO 64110

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