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The Annotated Turing: A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine Paperback – 30 May 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st Edition edition (30 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470229055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470229057
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Programming Legend Charles Petzold unlocks the secrets of the extraordinary and prescient 1936 paper by Alan M. Turing. Mathematician Alan Turing invented an imaginary computer known as the Turing Machine; in an age before computers, he explored the concept of what it meant to be computable, creating the field of computability theory in the process, a foundation of present-day computer programming.The book expands Turing's original 36-page paper with additional background chapters and extensive annotations; the author elaborates on and clarifies many of Turing's statements, making the original difficult-to-read document accessible to present day programmers, computer science majors, math geeks, and others. Interwoven into the narrative are the highlights of Turing's own life: his years at Cambridge and Princeton, his secret work in cryptanalysis during World War II, his involvement in seminal computer projects, his speculations about artificial intelligence, his arrest and prosecution for the crime of 'gross indecency,' and his early death by apparent suicide at the age of 41.

From the Back Cover

Before digital computers ever existed, Alan Turing envisionedtheir power and versatility...but also proved what computers couldnever do.

In an extraordinary and ultimately tragic life that unfoldedlike a novel, Turing helped break the German Enigma code to turnthe tide of World War II, later speculated on artificialintelligence, fell victim to the homophobic witchhunts of the early1950s, and committed suicide at the age of 41. Yet Turing is mostfamous for an eerily prescient 1936 paper in which he invented animaginary computing machine, explored its capabilities andintrinsic limitations, and established the foundations ofmodern-day programming and computability.

This absorbing book expands Turing's now legendary 36-page paperwith extensive annotations, fascinating historical context, andpage-turning glimpses into his private life. From his use of binarynumbers to his exploration of concepts that today's programmerswill recognize as RISC processing, subroutines, algorithms, andothers, Turing foresaw the future and helped to mold it. In ourpost-Turing world, everything is a Turing Machine -- from themost sophisticated computers we can build, to the hardlyalgorithmic processes of the human mind, to the information-ladenuniverse in which we live.

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