Saturday, June 23, 2012
Alan Turing (1912-1954)
Alan Turing did so much more, codebreaker, computer builder and developer of his test of intelligence, that he so richly deserves the title "father of computer science". But it is the Turing machine that gives us the right notion of computation, both formal and intuitive and the foundation for a whole new research field.
A week ago ACM honored Turing by bringing together 32 recipients of the Turing Award, the highest honor in computer science. An incredible retrospective on Turing's influence on computer science from those who best followed in Turing's footsteps. You can celebrate the day by watching the webcast. I recommend the panel sessions on the Turing Computation Model and the Algorithmic View of the Universe. Just seeing these great theorists on stage together is a treat.
Today I have to privilege to celebrate Turing's legacy in Cambridge, England, where the Computability in Europe conference ends its meeting at King's College of Cambridge University. Turing was an undergraduate at King's College when he developed the computational model and wrote his truly classic paper. Everyone should read Chapter 9 where Turing gives an amazing argument why his model captures computation.
Thank you Alan. The world computes because of you.