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Turing And The Computer (Big Idea) Paperback – 7 Aug 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (7 Aug. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099237822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099237822
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

THE BIG IDEA is a hugely popular series of science books that, at only 96 pages each, are an accessible read for the amateur

From the Back Cover

At a moment of great discovery, one Big Idea can change the world...

Today, computers touch every aspect of our lives and dominate the world of technology. They have revolutionised the modern age of communication and are arguably one of humankind's greatest achievements.To imagine a 21st Century existence without a computer seems impossible.Yet despite our utter reliance on computers, how much is really known about the way they work or their inventor, Alan Turing?

Turing's work has lasting implications for our day-to-day lives as well as our first notions of artificial intelligence.Both engaging and accessible, Turing and the Computer pays homage to the extraordinary life and work of an intense and emotional man who struggled with discrimination from his peers and family, helped break the Enigma codes to win World War II, and invented the world's first computer...before being largely forgotten by the world.

The Big Idea series is a fascinating look at the greatest advances in our scientific history, and at the men and women who made these fundamental breakthroughs.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. J. HAWKEN on 29 April 2008
Format: Paperback
Turing & the computer, is part of a series of books called "The Big Idea". These are supplosed to be aimed at both scientists and laymen. One would suppose from the title that one or more important ideas are investigated. Possibly one would also want to know how these ideas helped with the development of computers.

In my opinion this book is a very shallow history of Alan Turin, in which the most important bits (The ideas contributed by Turing) are mostly absent. Sure, there is some name-dropping, but ideas such as the Turing Machine and Computability are hardly mentioned. On the page where a Turing Machine is mentioned, Strathern merely explains what an algorithm is. Clearly if he has to do this, the target audience is probably someone younger than 12, who has no knowledge of computing.

Even more irritating are the inaccuracies. He mentions an eminent mathematician at Cambridge called George Hardy. Could this possibly be Godfrey Hardy (G. H. Hardy)

This book is small and cheap and clearly not worth the money.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A quick lesson on military and mathematical history as well as the consequences of persecution 5 Sept. 2013
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The life of Alan Turing is one of amazing achievement followed by an underappreciated state-sponsored tragedy. It is reasonable to state that Turing did more than anyone in the British Empire other than Winston Churchill to keep Britain from collapsing in the early years of World War II. His work on the Enigma intelligence project allowed Britain to break the German military codes and transfer the scarce British resources to where they would do the most good.
Yet, Turing's most astounding achievement was the development of the Turing machine, an abstract device capable of doing everything that a digital computer can. The amazing fact is that Turing invented the Turing machine in 1936, a full ten years before the ENIAC; the first general-purpose programmable computer was operational.
After the war when Britain's very existence was no longer at stake, Turing's homosexuality (at that time a crime in Great Britain) led to his being prosecuted and he was forced to accept either prison or chemical castration. Choosing the castration, the consequences drove Turing to suicide in 1954; an official apology was issued by the British government in 2009 after most of the details of Turing's war work were made available to the public.
This book is a short and fairly effective history of the incredible mind of Alan Turing, his achievements and the national disaster that was his death. It is written at the level of the late middle school or later, so it can serve as a supplemental book in the history of math, world history and the consequences of persecution. Turing was also responsible for the development of the Turing test for artificial intelligence, and there is every reason to believe that his death before he turned 42 deprived the world of other tremendous breakthroughs in the areas of mathematics, computer science and philosophy.
Not my cup of tea 29 Oct. 2013
By R. E. Statham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written at the middle school level, this book didn't cut it for me. I was looking for more information than the very rudimentary story provided here.

On the plus side, it WAS inexpensive....
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