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ISBN: 038549243XИздательство: Anchor Books/Doubleday
Few concepts in the history of 20th-century thought are as rich with both philosophical and practical implications as the computer. And few people in the history of computing are as intellectually and personally complex as Alan Turing, the man whose brilliant mathematical imagination laid the foundation for computers as we know them. You could easily spend the rest of the millennium reading up on Turing and his ideas, but if you've only got an afternoon, this engaging, pamphlet-length summary of the man's life and work should get you nicely up to speed. Author Paul Strathern sets Turing's accomplishments in their historical context. He starts with the long prehistory of the computer--its roots in devices such as the abacus, the slide rule, and CharlesBabbage's remarkably sophisticated 19th-century "difference engine." Strathern then moves deftly through the great mathematical debates that led to Turing's formulation of the abstract "universal computing machine" in the mid-1930s....