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Man Who Knew Too Much (edition 2006)
The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer by David Leavitt
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393052362, Hardcover)The story of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer.
To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary programmable calculating machine. But the idea of actually producing a "Turing machine" did not crystallize until he and his brilliant Bletchley Park colleagues built devices to crack the Nazis' Enigma code, thus ensuring the Allies' victory in World War II. In so doing, Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, formulating the famous (and still unbeaten) Turing Test that challenges our ideas of human consciousness. But Turing's postwar computer-building was cut short when, as an openly gay man in a time when homosexuality was officially illegal in England, he was apprehended by the authorities and sentenced to a "treatment" that amounted to chemical castration, leading to his suicide.
With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity—his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candor—while elegantly explaining his work and its implications.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:51 -0400)
"One of the most important openings in the path to the modern computer was made by the British mathematician Alan Turing - remarkably, while he was solving an entirely different problem. Shy and insecure about his middle-class origins, considered eccentric by those who did not know him well, Turing could show those close to him sly humor and bracing candor - even about his homosexuality. He also had one of the keenest minds of the twentieth century." "Turing's famous 1936 doctoral dissertation tackled one of the great mathematical challenges of the time, the "decidability problem, " by proposing and imaginary programmable calculating machine. The idea of actually producing such a "Turing machine" did not crystallize until Turing and his brilliant Bletchley Park colleagues built devices to crack the Nazis' Enigma code, thus ensuring the Allies' victory in World War II. Along the way, Turing crossed paths with some of the greatest minds of his time, including John von Neumann and Ludwig Wittgenstein." "After the war, Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, formulating the famous Turing Test that challenges our ideas of human consciousness. But Turing's postwar computer-building was cut short when he was arrested for violating antihomosexuality laws and sentenced to a "treatment" that amounted to chemical castration." "As he explains Turing's work and its implications, David Leavitt never loses sight of Turing's humanity, using a novelist's sensitivity to enter Turing's world and tell his extraordinary story."--BOOK JACKET.
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