e + 1 = 0 for Computing

Hall, Jon G. and Rapanotti, Lucia (2012). e + 1 = 0 for Computing. Technical Report 2012/04; Department of Computing, The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.000160bc


Euler's identity relates, in just seven symbols, some of the most fundamental entities and operations in mathematics. It has been described as 'the most beautiful theorem in mathematics' and 'the greatest equation ever.' If twenty-four hours is the clock of seven thousand years of mathematics , then Euler's identity is stated just one hour before midnight, computing (with Babbage's mechanical difference engine) arriving, fashionably, a few minutes later; Software Engineering crashed the party a mere 7 minutes ago. Many have characterised elements of software, some have managed great beauty. Here we present another characterisation of the relationship between a software system, its context, the need it satisfies, its stakeholders and its validation, deduced from Rogers' definition of (general) engineering.

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