Turing and the Computer: The Big Idea

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Turing and the Computer offers an encapsulation of the groundwork that led to the invention of the computer as we know it and an absorbing account of the man who helped develop it. Eccentric and principled, Alan Turing would lay aside a brilliant career in mathematics to serve his country by breaking German codes during the Second World War. Openly homosexual, he would later be put on trial on indecency charges and forced to undergo hormone treatments that wrecked his body and his spirit. But the modern machine ...
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Overview

Turing and the Computer offers an encapsulation of the groundwork that led to the invention of the computer as we know it and an absorbing account of the man who helped develop it. Eccentric and principled, Alan Turing would lay aside a brilliant career in mathematics to serve his country by breaking German codes during the Second World War. Openly homosexual, he would later be put on trial on indecency charges and forced to undergo hormone treatments that wrecked his body and his spirit. But the modern machine he helped create lives on. Just a few of the big ideas included in this riveting book are how Turing mapped out the theory of computers before a single computer had been conceived, how Turing's Colossus broke the German Enigma codes, and Turing's proof of the existence of artificial intelligence.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Offers an encapsulation of the groundwork that led to the invention of the computer as we know it, as well as an account of the eccentric and principled Turing, who set aside a brilliant career in mathematics to serve his country by breaking German codes during World War II (he was later put on trial on indecency charges and forced to undergo hormone treatments). Some of the topics covered include how Turing mapped out the theory of computers before a single computer had been conceived, how his Collossus broke the German Enigma codes, and his proof of the existence of artificial intelligence. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385492430
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/20/1999
  • Series: Big Idea Series
  • Edition description: 1 ANCHOR
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 7
The BC Era: Computers Before Their Time 13
Life and Work of an Enigma 35
Afterword 99
Major Dates 101
Suggestions for Further Reading 105
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2001

    TURING IN A NUTSHELL

    A neat little introduction to the birth of the computer and one of the men who was instrumental in its development. After providing the reader with a brief history of the development of the computer; the author sketches some highlights of Turing's life: Cambridge days, development of the theory of computers, breaking the Germany Military Enigma Code which hastened the end of WW II, and Turing's ground breaking work on artificial intelligence. Finally, the author portrays Turing's arrest and trial for homosexuality which subsequently led to his suicide. If you are looking for a succinct introduction to one of the most brilliant but misunderstood geniuses of the 20th century, read this book.

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