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Old 29th Feb 2012, 13:08   #1
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Computing museums team up for Turing centenary

Three computing museums, including TNMOC in the UK, have teamed up to celebrate Alan Turing's 100th birthday.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/20...p-for-turing/1
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 21:00   #2
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I thought I'd just add a comment to further educate anyone who cares.

I could be wrong, but from what I know Turing did relatively little work on artificial intelligence. We frequently hear about the Turing Test, but there are many theoreticians who have conjectured before their time (for example, John Nash of the Nash Equilibrium conjectured public key cryptography decades before it was established by Rivest, Hellman, Diffie etc). The Turing Test is likely more well known to sci-fi buffs, due to the numerous films which mention the Turing Test (of which some are mentioned).

Almost certainly his concept of a Turing Machine, as well as the Turing-Church thesis have been far more important to the development of modern computer science.

The former defines the conditions for something to be called a computer. Turing defined it in terms of states and a sequential access tape - though this definition is mathematically identical to a machine with random access -- for reasons that should be obvious. All modern computers and programming languages are examples of Universal Turing Machines (Turing Machines that take Turing Machines as their input). Thus far, no model of computation has been devised that can compute anything a Turing Machine cannot (see below).

The Turing-Church Thesis states that any algorithm can be computed on any Turing Machine. This is not a theorem of any kind, because the definition of an algorithm is relatively informal -- but the result is still extremely important. The knowledge that if there is an efficient solution to such problems as P=NP or integer factorisation, it can be implemented on current technology is certainly an important step towards deciding those goals.

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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 07:46   #3
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Quite a tragic ending for someone ahead of his time. No doubt he could have contributed much more to the field. At least his achievements are being honored now, albeit posthumously.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 11:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes View Post
I could be wrong, but from what I know Turing did relatively little work on artificial intelligence (although his Wikipedia page certainly contains a paraphrasing of the sentence about CAPTCHAs).
I've only just noticed this, so let me clarify something: at no point during the creation of that article did I reference Wikipedia. Perhaps I should educate you a little: my name is Gareth Halfacree, an IT journalist who was responsible for raising the cash used by the Bletchley Park Trust to purchase the papers now known as the Turing-Newman Collection and on display at the Bletchley Park Codebreaking Museum.

Perhaps I'm being over-sensitive, but I resent the implication that I was copying from Wikipedia. Everything I wrote was from my personal knowledge of the subject.

I also note that you don't mention his work on morphogenesis, which was recently validated in new research. My reason for bringing that up: sure, there's more to Turing than was covered in the article - it's a news article, not a biography.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 11:27   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
I've only just noticed this, so let me clarify something: at no point during the creation of that article did I reference Wikipedia. Perhaps I should educate you a little: my name is Gareth Halfacree, an IT journalist who was responsible for raising the cash used by the Bletchley Park Trust to purchase the papers now known as the Turing-Newman Collection and on display at the Bletchley Park Codebreaking Museum.

Perhaps I'm being over-sensitive, but I resent the implication that I was copying from Wikipedia. Everything I wrote was from my personal knowledge of the subject.
Oh, I thought I knew your name from somewhere (probably the bit-tech article). I visited the museam last summer (although not the first time I've visited). (On a very minor note, the house I used to live in was actually requesitioned in a similar way during the war, for training polish paratroopers; it was station XX, twenty, to bletchley park's station X). It's a good day out for anybody, there's a fair amount of stuff, not just the museam of computing.

It is true that turning was a Mathematician first and foremost although at that point in time Computer Science would probably come under that umbrella. If I had to make one observation it would be that actually the Poles did far more towards cracking the enigma than we did.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 11:40   #6
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I went to Bletchley last year for the fireworks night, was given a tour during the day round the place.

Incredibly interesting, and I found out soooooo much I didn't know before, such as the massive help the Poles were.
Regardless of exactly how much he did etc, it's still terrible what happened to him.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 13:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
I've only just noticed this, so let me clarify something: at no point during the creation of that article did I reference Wikipedia. Perhaps I should educate you a little: my name is Gareth Halfacree, an IT journalist who was responsible for raising the cash used by the Bletchley Park Trust to purchase the papers now known as the Turing-Newman Collection and on display at the Bletchley Park Codebreaking Museum.

Perhaps I'm being over-sensitive, but I resent the implication that I was copying from Wikipedia. Everything I wrote was from my personal knowledge of the subject.

I also note that you don't mention his work on morphogenesis, which was recently validated in new research. My reason for bringing that up: sure, there's more to Turing than was covered in the article - it's a news article, not a biography.
I apologize, the comment was rude.

I realize that the article was news, not a biography - my post was mainly to educate those who did not already know about some of Turing's work -- past Enigma and the Turing Test.

I didn't mention morphogenesis because I had not heard of Turing's work on it. He was clearly quite the polymath.
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Old 3rd Mar 2012, 17:28   #8
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Originally Posted by Bakes View Post
I apologize, the comment was rude.
Thank you. I appreciate the apology.
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