Computer Science Day in Russia Date in the current year: December 4, 2024

Computer Science Day in Russia Computer Science Day in Russia, also known as the birthday of Russian computer science, is an informal observance celebrated on December 4. It commemorates the invention of the first Russian digital computer.

Devices designed to aid calculation have been around for centuries, evolving from primitive tally sticks and counting rods to slide rules to mechanical calculators. But computer science as we know it today started with the invention of digital computers.

Alan Turing was the first to describe the principle of the modern computer in his 1936 paper On Computable Numbers. The next year, George Robert Stibitz coined the term “digital” to distinguish the new type computer from the already existing analog computers, but it took several more years to actually build a working digital computer.

The world’s first electronic digital programmable computer was Colossus. It was build in the United Kingdom to break German ciphers during the Second World War. However, the existence of Colossus was kept secret by the military well into the 1970s, so it is ENIAC that is typically credited as the first modern computer.

ENIAC (Electronic Numeral Integrator and Computer) was build in the United States and completed in 1945. Unlike the British Colossus, it was Turing-complete. It was also much faster and more flexible. Finally, ENIAC was the first general-purpose digital computer, as Colossus was built specifically to break ciphers, and ENIAC could compute any program that would fit into its memory.

Naturally, the USSR saw the invention of ENIAC as a challenge, and Soviet mathematicians redoubled their efforts to build the first Soviet computer. On December 4, 1948, Soviet inventors Isaac Bruk and Bashir Rameev were issued an inventor’s certificate for the first Soviet digital computer. This day is regarded as the birthday of Soviet (and, by extension, Russian) computer science and is unofficially celebrated as Computer Science Day in Russia.

Bruk and Rameev began to build their computer, named M-1, in October 1950, and completed it in 1952. Other early Soviet computers that were built around the same time by other inventors included BESM-1 (Large Electronic Computer Machine), MESM (Small Electronic Computer Machine), and Strela (Arrow).

Russian Computer Science Day can be considered the professional holiday of people who work in all theoretical and practical fields of computer science. The list of this fields is quite impressive; It includes theory of computation, information and coding theory, data structure and algorithms, programming language theory and formal methods, artificial intelligence, computer architecture and organization, concurrent, parallel and distributed computing, computer networks, computer security and cryptography, databases and data mining, computer graphics and visualization, information processing, computational science, finance and engineering, software engineering, and human-computer interaction.

By the way, computer science teachers deserve to be congratulated on this day, too, because if they are qualified to teach computer science, they definitely have the right to be regarded as professionals in the field.

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