Concept

Computation

Summary
A computation is any type of arithmetic or non-arithmetic calculation that is well-defined. Common examples of computations are mathematical equations and computer algorithms. Mechanical or electronic devices (or, historically, people) that perform computations are known as computers. The study of computation is the field of computability, itself a sub-field of computer science. Introduction The notion that mathematical statements should be ‘well-defined’ had been argued by mathematicians since at least the 1600s, but agreement on a suitable definition proved elusive. A candidate definition was proposed independently by several mathematicians in the 1930s. The best-known variant was formalised by the mathematician Alan Turing, who defined a well-defined statement or calculation as any statement that could be expressed in terms of the initialisation parameters of a Turing Machine. Other (mathematically equivalent) definitions include Alonzo Church's lambda-definability, H
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