The Differential Analyzer was a game-changer in the history of computing. This machine was able to perform differential equations, which look at the relationship between physical attributes and their rate of change. These calculations are vital for dynamic operations that are essential to computing.
For centuries, assistants to mathematicians performed some of the grunt work of the calculations required for their work. This work became obsolete when digital computers replaced their jobs in the mid-twentieth century. But because of their math skills, human computers often turned into the first programmers.