Muslim, Middle Eastern and North African Heritage

Issue 29: Diversity

Arabic scholars were some of the first to seriously work practically with the idea of algorithms spreading the ideas to the west. The foundation of robotics and cyber security also have strong foundations there from a millenia ago. This legacy lives on in the many of Middle Eastern and North African heritage (wherever they were born or work) excelling in computer science today.

Al-Jazari: the father of robotics

Science fiction films are full of humanoid robots acting as servants, workers, friends or colleagues. The first were created during the Islamic Golden Age, a thousand years ago… (read on)

The heart of an Arabic programming language

A colourful repeating geometric pattern

So far almost all computer languages have been written in English, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Computers don’t care. Computer scientist Ramsey Nasser developed the first programming language that uses Arabic script.  … (read on)

Al-Kindi: the dark history of algorithms

Colourful graphic equaliser cartoon, representing frequencies

Zin Derfoufi, a Computer Science student at Queen Mary, delves into some of the dark secrets of algorithms past. Muslim scholar Al-Kindi played a key role  … (read on)

AI Detecting the dead sea scrolls

Computer science and artificial intelligence have provided a new way to do science: it was in fact one of the earliest uses of the computer. They are now giving new ways for scholars to do research in other disciplines such as ancient history, too. Artificial Intelligence has been used in a novel way to help understand how the Dead Sea Scrolls were written, and it turns out scribes in ancient Judea worked in teams … (read on)

More to come (of course)

Find more diverse diversity on our diversity pages here.

This blog is funded by EPSRC on grant EP/W033615/1.