HISTORY OF COMPUTING
CLASS EXAMINATIONS

 

 

The following list of events or concepts are associated with specific pioneers (or pioneer company) of the computer. Match each event with a pioneer in the second list and enter your choice onto the mark sense form so the event is associated with the question number and the pioneer name with the answer.

  1. The Analytical Engine
  2. Responsible for documenting the stored program concept
  3. EDSAC
  4. ENIAC
  5. LEO
  6. Microsoft
  7. Sketchpad - the first interactive graphical system
  8. Integrated Circuits
  9. The Z-1, Z-2, Z-3, and Z-4 machines
  10. The mouse
    1. Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce
    2. Lyons Tea Company
    3. Maurice Wilkes
    4. Charles Babbage
    5. Eckert & Mauchley
    6. Ivan Sutherland
    7. Doug Engelbart
    8. Bill Gates
    9. John von Neumann
    10. Konrad Zuse

1. The first use of punched cards in directing the actions of machines dates back to:

  1. Herman Hollerith
  2. John Napier
  3. Charles Babbage
  4. Joseph Jacquard (**)

 

2. John Napier invented the logarithm, the promptuary, and the chessboard calculator.

  1. True (**)
  2. False

 

3. It took 7.5 years to complete tabulation of the information gathered in the 1880 census. When Herman Hollerith handled the 1890 census,the amount of tabulation time decreased to:

  1. 6 years
  2. 2.5 years (**)
  3. 1 year

4. IBM originated from the following company:

  1. Tabulating Machine Co.
  2. Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. (**)
  3. Sperry Corporation

5. John Atanasoff was visited by the following scientist to view his computer:

  1. Alan Turing
  2. John Mauchly (**)
  3. Clifford Berry

6. A language used during early attempts at office automation was:

  1. RPG (**)
  2. Fortran
  3. COBOL
  4. Assembly language

7. The US Department of Defense created and named the modern programming language Ada for:

  1. Poet Byron's daughter
  2. The Countess of Lovelace
  3. The first computer programmer
  4. Charles Babbage's wife
  5. 1, 2, and 3 (**)
  6. 1, 2, and 4

8. What is wrong with the following statement?

John Napier made his two biggest contributions toward reducing wear and tear on mathematicians. In 1594 he invented logarithms, and in 1617 he improved [mathematical tables] by applying his logarithms to blocks of wood. By applying them to blocks of wood shaped like rulers, two rulers could be laid side by side and the answers read directly. These rods of wood, called "Napier's Bones" were improved rapidly.

Napier never linked his "bones" with logarithms. Slide rules were invented by Oughtred after Napier's death. Slide rules were never called "Napier's Bones". The "Bones" were not shaped like rulers. Napier announced his discovery of logarithms in 1614.

9. Charles Babbage developed two machines, of which the Difference Engine was the first. The method of differences used in this machine is:

  1. A form of differentiation (**)
  2. A form of integration
  3. A means to compute smaller and smaller numbers
  4. Based on the differences between values in a power sequence
  5. Operates over lists of numbers

10. Konrad Zuse was German Civil Engineer who developed what is a definite candidate for one of the world’s first computers–the Z1 machine. Built in 1935-1937 it used _____ as its basic component of construction:

  1. Mechanical components from a calculating machine
  2. Telephone switching relays (**)
  3. Early diodes
  4. Magnetic thin-wire memory
  5. The switches from an Enigma

11. John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, who designed and built the ENIAC, were staff at:

  1. Pennsylvania State University
  2. University of Philadelphia
  3. University of Pennsylvania (**)
  4. Illinois University
  5. Harvard University

12. Alan Turing, a British scientist and author of the concept of the Universal Machine (later known as the Turing Machine) never actually built a machine of his own:

  1. True (**)
  2. False

13. The first computer corporation was:

  1. IBM Corporation
  2. Remington Rand Corporation
  3. Sperry Rand Corporation
  4. Electronic Computer Corporation (**)
  5. C-T-R

14. In the 1952 election in which the UNIVAC computer was used by CBS to predict the output of the race (and incidentally censored by CBS for several hours after predicting the outcome correctly with only 5% of the vote counted) was won by:

  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  2. Harry S. Truman
  3. Dwight D. Eisenhower (**)
  4. John F. Kennedy
  5. Richard Nixon

15. The first computer used in banking and incorporating the use of MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) was called ERMA (Electronic Recording Method of Accounting) and was built by:

  1. Monroe Calculator Corporation
  2. IBM Corporation
  3. General Electric Corporation (**)
  4. Royal McBee Corporation
  5. UNIVAC Corporation

16. The earliest graphic user interface (GUI) was built by the same person who invented the mouse–Ivan Sutherland:

  1. True
  2. False (**)

17. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the developers of the Apple computer, initially built up their capital by manufacturing and selling:

  1. keyboards
  2. calculators
  3. blue boxes (**)
  4. computers of parts supplied by Altair
  5. macintosh apples

18. In Xerox PARC, where Alan Kay developed the Alto machine and the ideas of object oriented programming, PARC stands for:

  1. Pacific/Atlantic Reproduction Center
  2. Palo Alto Research Center (**)
  3. PC Advanced Research Center
  4. Product and Research Center
  5. PARChment archive

19. The first computer bug found in the Harvard Mark II computer was caused by a:

  1. a hardware malfunction
  2. a software malfunction
  3. a moth (**)

20. Which of the following scientists who invented cowcatcher, dynamometer, standard railroad gauge, uniform postal rates, was also once Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge and was thought to be a music hater?

  1. Howard Aiken
  2. Charles Babbage (**)
  3. John Von Neumann
  4. Alan Turing

21. Which of the following scientists was/were son(s) of a banker?

  1. John von Neumann
  2. Alan Turing
  3. Konrad Zuse
  4. Charles Babbage
  5. 1 and 2
  6. 1 and 3
  7. 1 and 4 (**)
  8. 2 and 3
  9. 2 and 4
  10. 3 and 4

22. Who is considered the "Father of Computing"

  1. Konrad Zuse
  2. John von Neumann
  3. Bill Gates
  4. Charles Babbage (**)
  5. George Stibitz
  6. Howard Aiken
  7. Alan Turing

23. Who is referred as "The Father of the Spreadsheet"?

  1. Henry Fuchs
  2. Alan M. Turing
  3. Ivan Sutherland
  4. Dan Bricklin (**)


An interesting set of self-test questions is also available from McMaster University.


You may suggest an appropriate examination question in this topic by clicking here.


Last updated 99/10/25
© J.A.N. Lee, 1999