The Annotated Turing

A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine

Charles Petzold

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Before digital computers ever existed, Alan Turing envisioned their power and versatility...but also proved what computers could never do.
In an extraordinary and ultimately tragic life that unfolded like a novel, Turing helped break the German Enigma code to turn the tide of World War II, later speculated on artificial intelligence, fell victim to the homophobic witchhunts of the early 1950s, and committed suicide at the age of 41. Yet Turing is most famous for an eerily prescient 1936 paper in which he invented an imaginary computing machine, explored its capabilities and intrinsic limitations, and established the foundations of modern-day programming and computability.
This absorbing book expands Turing's now legendary 36-page paper with extensive annotations, fascinating historical context, and page-turning glimpses into his private life. From his use of binary numbers to his exploration of concepts that today's programmers will recognize as RISC processing, subroutines, algorithms, and others, Turing foresaw the future and helped to mold it. In our post-Turing world, everything is a Turing Machine -- from the most sophisticated computers we can build, to the hardly algorithmic processes of the human mind, to the information-laden universe in which we live.


Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 300
Erscheinungsdatum 13.06.2008
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-470-22905-7
Verlag John Wiley & Sons
Maße (L/B/H) 22,8/15,1/2,3 cm
Gewicht 509 g
Auflage 1. Auflage
Verkaufsrang 32601


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  • Introduction.

    I Foundations.

    1 This Tomb Holds Diophantus.

    2 The Irrational and the Transcendental.

    3 Centuries of Progress.

    II Computable Numbers.

    4 The Education of Alan Turing.

    5 Machines at Work.

    6 Addition and Multiplication.

    7 Also Known as Subroutines.

    8 Everything Is a Number.

    9 The Universal Machine.

    10 Computers and Computability.

    11 Of Machines and Men.

    III Das Entscheidungsproblem.

    12 Logic and Computability.

    13 Computable Functions.

    14 The Major Proof.

    15 The Lambda Calculus.

    16 Conceiving the Continuum.

    IV And Beyond.

    17 Is Everything a Turing Machine?

    18 The Long Sleep of Diophantus.

    Selected Bibliography.