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Tech World Preps to Honor 'father of Computer Science' Alan Turing, as Centenary Nears


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Alan Turing

Did Alan Turing's 1936 paper 'On Computable Numbers' influence the early history of computer building?

Worldwide celebrations will mark the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth on June 23.

Turing is considered the "father of computer science," and Google vice president and ACM President-elect Vint Cerf says Turing's importance cannot be overstated. "The man challenged everyone's thinking," Cerf says. "He was so early in the history of computing, and yet so incredibly visionary about it."

Cerf and Rice University professor Moshe Vardi are helping organize ACM's celebration of Turing's birth. "The theory of computing really started in the 20th century, and Turing is one of the foremost--if not the foremost--parents of the theory of computing," Vardi says.

Turing studied at King's College and Cambridge before inventing one of his most important conceptual works, known as the "a-machine" or Turing machine. Turing is probably best known for his central role in cracking German military codes during World War II.

In addition to contributing to the war effort, Turing's work at Britain's Government Code and Cipher School led to the development of the basic computers he would design after the conclusion of the war. Most notably, Turing invented the Automated Computing Engine, which was influential in the development of the modern computer. The ACM celebration will have about 32 A.M. Turing Award winners on hand, in addition to more than 1,000 attendees.

From Network World 
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