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Designed by Carlos Christensen
First appeared 1964; 54 years ago (1964)
Influenced by

AMBIT is a historical programming language that was introduced by Carlos Christensen of Massachusetts Computer Associates in 1964 for symbolic computation.[1][2] The language was influenced by ALGOL 60 and is an early example of a pattern matching language for manipulation of strings (a more popular example from the same time is SNOBOL). The acronym AMBIT stands for "Algebraic Manipulation by Identity Translation", but has also claimed "Acronym May Be Ignored Totally". AMBIT had dialects for manipulation of lists (AMBIT-L)[3] and graphs (AMBIT-G)[4][5] Both pioneered with data structure diagrams and visual programming as data and patterns were used to be represented by directed-graph diagrams.[6] AMBIT/L was implemented for a PDP-10 computer and used to implement the interactive algebraic manipulation system IAM.[7]


  • Carlos Christensen, Michael S. Wolfberg, Michael J. Fischer: A Report on AMBIT/G (Volume I-IV), Massachusetts Computer Associates Inc. 1971


  1. ^ Carlos Christensen: Examples of Symbol Manipulation in the AMBIT Programming Language. in ACM '65: Proceedings of the ACM '65 conference. 1965, pp. 247-261.
  2. ^ Carlos Christensen: On the implementation of AMBIT, a language for symbol manipulation. Communications of the ACM, Volume 9 Issue 8, 1966
  3. ^ Michael S. Wolfberg: Fundamentals of the AMBIT/L list-processing language, Proceedings of the symposium on two-dimensional man-machine communication. October 1972
  4. ^ Carlos Christensen: An Example of the Manipulation of Directed Graphs in the AMBIT/G Programming Language, in Melvin Klerer et al: Interactive Systems for Experimental Applied Mathematics, Academic Press, 1968, pp. 423-435.
  5. ^ P. D. Rovner, D. A. Henderson: On the implementation of AMBIT/G: a graphical programming language, Proceedings of the 1st international joint conference on Artificial intelligence, ACM, 1969
  6. ^ Brad A. Myers: Taxonomies of visual programming and program visualization, Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, Volume 1, Issue 1, March 1990, pp. 97-123
  7. ^ Carlos Christensen, Michael Karr: IAM, a system for interactive algebraic manipulation. Proceedings of the second ACM symposium on Symbolic and algebraic manipulation. ACM, 1971