One of my students at Utrecht University reflected during the spring of 2014 on the origins of computational complexity. She has given me permission to publish her beautiful essay here (anonymously).
Her chosen research topic is a difficult one to address. But, by presenting a pluralistic account in which she lets her historical actors tell the story (Cobham, Hartmanis, Rabin, Blum), she has succeeded in conveying technical information to an audience that need not be versed in complexity theory per se.
Towards a Historical Notion of "Turing — the Father of Computer Science" is Edgar Daylight's Original Manuscript of an article submitted for consideration in the journal History and Philosophy of Logic, copyright protected by E.G. Daylight.
Dijkstra's Rallying Cry for Generalization is pleased to offer to its readers Chapter III of the book Studies in Operating Systems by R. M. McKeag and R. Wilson, edited by D H. R. Huxtable and published in 1976 by Academic Press:
Is it correct to say that Dijkstra reasoned linguistically during the late 1950s and early 1960s? A reviewer of the research paper `Dijkstra's Rallying Cry ...' expressed his reservations about this matter.
The paper is, in essence, about an argument of generality versus computer efficiency. The argument was eventually settled in favour of the former due to the enormous advances in electronic technology. Today, computer efficiency is not an issue any more.
Is this correct? The last sentence seems to contradict Martin Reiser’s “law” which states that