why we use computers

When we think about what computers do, math, we can reason about why they are used. How long does it take you to add or subtract a number?

method time year invented
by hand less than 1 operation per second
US Navy ENIAC computer less than 5000 operations per second 1943
a laptop 166,080,000,000 operations per second 2018
Summit super computer at oak ridge national lab 1,000,000,000,000,000, operations per second 2018

So it’s because they’re fast?

Yep, pretty much. This allows us to do things that would be otherwise impossible to do by hand.

What’s that mean? Some of the problems that computers solve would take longer than our lifetime to compute.

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