Historic people and events from Exeter and surrounding area
the first computer programmer
father of the computer
Born in 1791/92 Charles Babbage went to school in Exeter as a boy, later attending the King Edward VI Grammar School in Totnes (Devon, UK). From 1828 to 1839 Babbage was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Babbage is known for his conception of an Analytical Engine in 1837 – a mechanical computing device – which today we call “computer”. A part of the model he built can be seen at the London Science Museum.
William Kingdon Clifford
Born in Exeter in 1845 Clifford was a British mathematician and philosopher, and a professor at University College London. Building on work by Grassmann and Hamilton he developed the notion of geometric algebra. Clifford algebras are used in many areas of physics including quantum theory, quantum computing and relativity. Clifford was the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry. Albert Einstein would go on to develop the geometric theory of gravity that Clifford had suggested, which we today know as General Relativity.
Exeter City F.C. was the first side to play the Brazil national football team at the Laranjeiras stadium, Rio de Janeiro, home of Fluminense Football Club. This occurred during Exeter City F.C’s tour of South America in 1914 to generate awareness of football in the continent.