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How the Father of Computer Science Decoded Nature's Mysterious Patterns


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English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist Alan M. Turing.

Chinese chemical engineers last week published a paper that incorporated a method of pattern generation described by English computer scientist Alan M. Turing in defining a more efficient process for the desalination of water.

Credit: Science History Images/Alamy

Mathematician and cryptologist Alan Turing was also a naturalist who used math to explain patterns in nature. Chemists and biological mathematicians are only now coming to appreciate his work in the field, which can explain problems they are working on now, like how zebrafish become striped, or how cheetahs get their spots.

Chinese chemical engineers last week published a paper that incorporated a method of pattern generation described by Turing in defining a more efficient process for the desalination of water.

University of Oxford visiting professor and computational biologist Jonathan Swinton said Turing "thought mathematics was very powerful, and you could use it to explain lots and lots of things —and you should try."

From The New York Times
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