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Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:52 am
by Oskar45
While it's quite normal to celebrate certain anniversaries of important figures in the areas of music [e.g., Liszt in 2011], art [e.g., Klimt in 2012] or others, in "our" field such anniversaries seem to be neglected completely. Well, in this year the 100th birthday of Turing comes up. Sadly, while probably the most important figure in the history of computing, in the broad public his anniversary will go unnoticed for sure...

BTW, although it contains several incorrect technical details, how many of you have read and totally comprehended the original of "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem"?

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:25 am
by GL1zdA
Oskar45 wrote:BTW, although it contains several incorrect technical details, how many of you have read and totally comprehended the original of "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem"?

I haven't yet, but The Annotated Turing is waiting on my bookshelf, so maybe this year I'll read it.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:59 am
by skywriter
Oskar45 wrote:how many of you have read and totally comprehended the original of "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem"?


Nobody ever offered me any money for doing it.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:43 pm
by josehill
Moderator's note: I just deleted a couple of posts. I'm as much of a fan of pushing buttons as anyone, but content-free flaming really isn't what this forum is all about. Let's try to get back on topic, or at least become more creative with our insults.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:45 pm
by skywriter
Thanks Joe!

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:50 pm
by Oskar45
skywriter wrote:
Oskar45 wrote:how many of you have read and totally comprehended the original of "On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem"?


Nobody ever offered me any money for doing it.

Noone ever will. Read it or not - it's up to you.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:09 pm
by skywriter
If you put it so graciously this time: it's not likely i will read it then. I have other more pressing, real life experiences competing for my attention.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:22 pm
by vishnu
I haven't read it yet but it's on my todo list right after I finish wading through volume 4A of Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming" ... :mrgreen:

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:03 pm
by PymbleSoftware
vishnu wrote:I haven't read it yet but it's on my todo list right after I finish wading through volume 4A of Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming" ... :mrgreen:


Hmmm "4A", you say ..?

I have Volume 4 "generating all tuples and permutations", Fascicile 2. Would that count as 4B..?

I have a copy of "The essential Turing".

R.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:15 pm
by vishnu
PymbleSoftware wrote:I have Volume 4 "generating all tuples and permutations", Fascicile 2. Would that count as 4B..?.
Nope, yours counts as Volume 4-none. Volume 4A is the most recent one, released on January 22d 2011, Combinatorial Algorithms, Part 1. Volume 4 Fascicle 2: Generating All Tuples and Permutations is from 2005. He's scheduling Volume 5 for release around 2020... What a guy! :mrgreen:

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:19 am
by Nuke
I just had to look him up.

Looks like a pretty cool guy. He seems to have been very sad in life, due to mistreatment, however... Poor guy.

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:49 pm
by skywriter
bwahahaha

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:51 pm
by smj
Aside from the inevitable references in a comp sci cirriculum I've read at least one biography and enjoyed the depiction of him in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon... But no, I haven't attempted any of his original writing. Yet? Who knows...

As for a lack of celebration in "our" field, Turing was the mascot/theme of the RSA Conference a couple years ago but I'm not sure if there was any significance to the particular year. On the more general point however, I'd say we haven't had as much time as other fields for the habit to develop. Still, haven't there been observations of anniversaries for Babbage and Lady Lovelace?

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:45 pm
by josehill
Unfortunately, several of the articles are behind a paywall, but perhaps some of you will be interested in this:

Nature special issue: Turing at 100 - http://www.nature.com/news/specials/turing/index.html

(If you are at a university, chances are that all of the links will "just work," as long as you are accessing them from the university network.)

Re: Alan Turing

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:17 am
by [[C|-|E]]
josehill wrote:Unfortunately, several of the articles are behind a paywall, but perhaps some of you will be interested in this:

Nature special issue: Turing at 100 - http://www.nature.com/news/specials/turing/index.html

(If you are at a university, chances are that all of the links will "just work," as long as you are accessing them from the university network.)


Yup, all the links "just work" here in the lab :mrgreen: . I have downloaded the PDFs to read them at home :D .