San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) June 18, 2008
Computers don't get much simpler than the imaginary machine that English mathematician Alan Turing (1912 - 1954) invented in his groundbreaking 1936 paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem." Yet, years before digital computers ever existed, the Turing Machine demonstrated their potential power and versatility, and just as importantly, their intrinsic limitations.
Turing's paper is normally a tough read, but now computer programming legend and author of the remarkable book Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Charles Petzold has made Turing's fascinating and provocative work accessible to a wider audience.
Petzold's absorbing book expands Turing's 36-page paper with historical and intellectual background, extensive annotations, and numerous digressions. Interwoven through the technical discussion are glimpses into Turing's extraordinary and ultimately tragic life, including his secret work that helped break the German Enigma code to turn the tide of World War II, his speculation about artificial intelligence and the famous Turing Test for evaluating machine intelligence, his arrest during the homophobic witch hunts of the early 1950s, and his suicide at the age of 41.
Turing foresaw the future and helped 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 life.
The Annotated Turing will have special appeal to readers interested in the histories of technology, computing, and 20th century intellectual thought. The book is also an important addition to any Computer Science curriculum. It can be used in the study of the Theory of Computation, History of Computing, Computability, Theoretical Computer Science, and mathematical topics relevant to computer science.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Charles Petzold (New York, NY) is a best-selling author and programmer best known for his book Programming Windows (Microsoft Press), originally published in 1988 and currently in its fifth edition. He is also the author of Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, a unique exploration of digital technologies. His web site is http://www.charlespetzold.com.
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THE ANNOTATED TURING
A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing's Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: June 23, 2008
$29.99; Paperback; 372 pages; ISBN: 978-0470-229-057