**Computers were invented to make complex mathematical calculations possible and make tasks easier for humans.** Even modern computers perform calculations in addition to the myriad other tasks they perform. While the first computers were simple devices, modern computers use cutting-edge technology and advanced materials to perform calculations at an incredible rate.

Modern computers can be very small, and they appear in a variety of modern products. Small computers can be found in cellular phones, modern cameras and automobiles, where their incredibly fast mathematical abilities help make the lives of humans easier.

Primitive computers have been around for thousands of years, although they look nothing like modern computers. Completely bereft of moving parts, the first calculating devices were called counting boards. These boards featured grooved lines and beads that could be placed in the grooves. Such calculators were helpful for keeping track of large numbers; but soon, better tools, such as the abacus, were invented. An abacus is a wooden frame with wooden balls that slide back and forth along narrow rods. True calculating devices were invented in the early 19th century; but while these elaborate devices were more helpful than counting boards and similar tools, they were very expensive to construct.