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.
American writer Charles Petzold (1953–) is the author of the acclaimed 1999 book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, a unique exploration into the digital technologies of computers. He is also the author of hundreds of articles about computer programming, as well as several books on writing programs that run under Microsoft Windows. His Web site is www.charlespetzold.com.
This book amazingly points them out and corrects even the minor misprints.
If I read the Turing paper as is, I would not understand it, but the way Petzold is explaining things makes it all easy to understand.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in computers or the foundations of mathematics.
This is an incredible book! As a researcher in quantum information coming in with a background in physics, this helped tie together a lot of disparate knowledge I've had about... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Hadayat Seddiqi
I have a very firm belief that most books, documents, or textbooks on mathematics or the sciences are written by people without souls. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Singularity
I am still reading this book having finished only the first few chapters and so far the book hasn't disappointed. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Santosh Golecha
what i really liked about the book was that it incorporated the original writings of turing and then provided examples and explanations. Read morePublished 6 months ago by paul kaiser
I really enjoyed this book. It explained the theory behind this paper really well, and I feel like I now understand math in general and computer science in particular a lot better. Read morePublished 10 months ago by c70
A great if sometimes somewhat technical read. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in mathematics or computer science.Published 12 months ago by MRBWaters
If you technically advanced, and are interested in understanding the historical basis of the Turing machine, this book is very useful. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Daniel A Goldman
I use the word 'elucidation' because I've already graduated with an MS in computer science and have been through a course on the theory of computation. Read morePublished 20 months ago by The Old Hag
The quality of writing in this book is very good. I would say that some very difficult mathematics concepts and explained very clearly, especially the different types of numbers... Read morePublished on July 14, 2012 by show_me_the_physics