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Alan Turing

Uploaded by megatow on Dec 06, 2004

Possibly an inadequate title, the Founder of Computer Science, is what Alan Mathison Turing is called by the technological community. Born in a nursing home in Paddington, London with the strong desire to learn, Turing would soon grow to be one of the most ingenious mathematical logicians ever to grace his field.

Turing was a man who accomplished his successes without outside motivation to do so. His family, being an upper-middle-class group with no scientific knowledge or interests, left Turing to develop his interests for mathematics and science on his own. This interest is believed to have been sparked by a book he read at around the age of fourteen entitled, “Natural Wonders Every Child Should Know”(Hodges 22). Through reading books of this type and in honor of a deceased intellectual companion named Christopher Morcom, Turing gained the drive to make strives in the world of technology.

Turing’s received his first public recognition in the field of mathematics directly after graduating from King’s College, when he won a Smith’s prize for his work on probability theory in 1936 (Kowalik 2). It was around this time when Turing became intrigued by the mathematical question of decidability, otherwise known as the Entscheidungsproblem. This problem asked the question, “could there exist, at least in principle, any definite method or process by which all mathematical questions could be decided?” With his amazing mathematical ingenuity, Turing was able to supply a precise method to solve this almost impossible problem.

The method that Turing constructed became the foundation of modern computation, and was later called the Turing Machine. It was a machine that Turing claimed could equal or exceed the logic of a person working on a set of logical instructions. The function of the machine was to accept algorithms, as we call them today, and solve problems dealing with computable numbers (Kowalik 2). He first released his findings in a paper entitled, “On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem.” Although this was probably Turing’s greatest accomplishment, he soon became interested in ciphers used during wartime, and would lend a helping hand to the British forces during WWII (Turing 2).

Early on in the war, Germany had developed something called an Enigma Machine, which generated undecipherable code that was transmitted between German forces. Upon the entrance of Britain...

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Uploaded by:   megatow

Date:   12/06/2004

Category:   Technology

Length:   3 pages (657 words)

Views:   8395

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