Alan Turing: Computing Genius and Wartime Code Breaker

Alan Turing: Computing Genius and Wartime Code Breaker

by Harry Henderson


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Alan Turing: Computing Genius and Wartime Code Breaker by Harry Henderson

Makers of Modern Science is a 10-volume set that profiles the lives and achievements of scientists who made notable contributions to the advancement of science and society. Each volume covers a scientist whose work has had a major impact on a particular field. The scientist's accomplishments are discussed, including the scientific principles and personal struggles underlying his or her work. Employing an array of primary sources-diaries, memoirs, letters, and contemporary news accounts-as well as secondary sources, the set depicts the human drama of scientific work, the challenge of research, and the exhilaration and rewards of discovery.

Alan Turing recounts the life and career of the 20th-century British mathematician who made significant contributions to mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence, and code breaking. The book discusses how Turing's innovative mathematical techniques helped to crack the Enigma code used by the Nazis during World War II and is a fine introduction to this pioneer whose originality and vision contributed to myriad fields in modern science and mathematics.

Alan Turing includes approximately 30 photographs and line illustrations, a chronology, a glossary, a list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Makers of Modern Science is an essential set for students, teachers, and general readers that provides a factual look at the lives and outstanding accomplishments of prominent scientists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816061754
Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Series: Makers of Modern Science Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction xvii

1 An Unusual Child 1

Absent Parents 2

Hazelhurst 4

Sherborne School 5

An Intrepid Journey 6

Public School Life 7

The Public School in British Culture 7

Flashes of Genius 8

The Discovery of Friendship 10

Death of a Friend 11

The "Nature of Spirit" 12

2 The Frontiers of Mathematics 14

New Intellectual Opportunities 15

Mathematical Hurdles 17

The Scope of Mathematics 19

Mathematical Logic 20

Hilbert's Challenge 22

3 Calculating Minds 24

From Abacus to Calculator 25

Babbage, Lovelace, and Their "Difference Engine" 26

Mechanical Calculators 28

Boole's Bridge to the Computer 29

The Turing Machine 30

The Power of Simplicity 32

A Universal Machine 34

Graduate Study at Princeton 35

4 Enigma 39

The German Enigma 41

A Fiendishly Complicated Machine 42

The First Assault on the Enigma 45

Turing and Bletchley Park 47

The Battle of the Atlantic 48

New Code-breaking Techniques 50

Bletchley Park Today 52

A Desperate Plan 56

Turing Goes Afield 57

Electronics Advances 59

The Song of Delilah 60

5 The Birth of the Computer 63

Colossus: a Forgotten Computer 66

The First Electronic Computers 68

Who Was First-Turing or von Neumann? 70

A "Baby" Is Born 73

Christopher Strachey: Creative Computer Scientist 75

"Building a Brain" 76

6 Can Machines Think? 78

From Turbochamp to Deep Blue 79

Turing Robots, and Machines That Learn 83

The Turing Test 84

Passing the Turing Test 86

Turing Begins the AI Debate 87

Will Computers Ever Be Smarter than People? 88

Turing's Legacy in AI 90

7 The Poisoned Apple 92

Patterns of Development 93

The Code Breaker's Secret 95

A Fateful Turn 96

Verdict and Aftermath 97

Homosexuality and the Law in Britain 98

Turing's Inner Journey 101

Ambiguous Death and Certain Tragedy 102

Conclusion: Turing's Shrouded Legacy 107

Mathematics and Computing 107

Artificial Intelligence 108

The Human Moment 109

Turing Today 111

Chronology 113

Glossary 119

Further Resources 123

Index 129

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