Alan Turing: father of the modern computer

Copeland, B. Jack and Proudfoot, Diane (2011) Alan Turing: father of the modern computer. The Rutherford Journal, 4 1: .

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Author Copeland, B. Jack
Proudfoot, Diane
Title Alan Turing: father of the modern computer
Journal name The Rutherford Journal
ISSN 1177-1380
Publication date 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 4
Issue 1
Total pages 1 article
Place of publication Christchurch, New Zealand
Publisher Department of Philosophy, University of Canterbury
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Part I of 'Alan Turing, Father of the Modern Computer' provides an overview of Turing's many major contributions to the development of the computer and computing—including his pioneering work in the areas now called Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life.

Part II tells the story of Turing's ACE. This is simply one of the best tales in the history of computers. Right from the start there was a mismatch of visions. Turing saw himself as building 'a brain'. 'In working on the ACE', he said, 'I am more interested in the possibility of producing models of the action of the brain than in the practical applications to computing'. Turing's employers, on the other hand, thought the ACE would be Britain's national computer: a single machine that could satisfy the computing needs of 'the whole country'. Frustration and disappointment dominate the story. Woolly-minded administrators wasted the brilliant technological achievements of Turing and his group. There is a happy ending—but by that time Turing had turned his back on the ACE forever. Much of Part II is in the words of the original protagonists, drawn from documents of the time. (These and other historic documents are now available online in The Turing Archive for the History of Computing.)

Part III of 'Alan Turing, Father of the Modern Computer' is a digital facsimile of 'Proposed Electronic Calculator', Turing's 48-page report describing his revolutionary electronic computing machine. Turing's original illustrations are included. (A paper version of the report is available in the book Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine.)
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Special Issue for the 2012 Alan Turing Centenary Year: "web-book".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Thu, 18 Dec 2014, 12:08:59 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry