By the end of the 1960s, a new discipline named computer science had come into being. A new scientific paradigm – the “computational paradigm” – was in place, suggesting that computer science had reached a certain level of maturity. Yet as a science, it was still precociously young. New forces, some technological, some socioeconomic, some cognitive, impinged upon it; the outcome of which was that new kinds of computational problems arose over the next two decades. Indeed, by the beginning of the 1990s, the structure of the computational paradigm looked markedly different in many important respects from how it was at the end of the 1960s.
Author Subrata Dasgupta named the two decades from 1970 to 1990 as the second age of computer science to distinguish it from the preceding genesis of the science and the age of the Internet/World Wide Web that followed. This book describes the evolution of computer science in this second age in the form of seven overlapping, intermingling, parallel histories that unfold concurrently in the course of the two decades.