Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age

Author(s): B. Jack Copeland

Biography / Memoir | Popular Science

June 23, 2012 marks the centenary of Alan Turing's birth, and preparations are being made worldwide for the celebration of his life and work. Turing can be regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. But who was Turing, and what did he achieve during his tragically short life of 41 years? Best known as the genius who broke Germany's most secret codes during the war of 1939-45, Turing was also the father of the modern computer. Today, all who 'click-to-open' are familiar with the impact of Turing's ideas. Here, B. Jack Copeland provides an account of Turing's life and work, exploring the key elements of his life-story in tandem with his leading ideas and contributions. The book highlights Turing's contributions to computing and to computer science, including Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life, and the emphasis throughout is on the relevance of his work to modern developments. The story of his contributions to codebreaking during the Second World War is set in the context of his thinking about machines, as is the account of his work in the foundations of mathematics.

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Jack Copeland, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing.


Jack Copeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he is Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing. His books include The Essential Turing (Oxford University Press), Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers (Oxford University Press), Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine (Oxford University Press), Logic and Reality: Essays on the Legacy of Arthur Prior (Oxford University Press), and Artificial Intelligence (Blackwell); and he has published more than 100 articles on the philosophy and history of computing, and mathematical and philosophical logic.


1. Click to Open; 2. Turing's Universal Machine; 3. Sinking Hilbert; 4. The Intuitive Mathematician; 5. Breaking Enigma; 6. Tunny - Hitler's BlackBerry; 7. The Colossus of Computers; 8. ACE- A Month's Work in a Minute; 9. The Manchester "Electronic Brain"; 10. Artificial Intelligence; 11. The Imitation Game; 12. Educating Machinery; 13. Computer Chess; 14. Artificial Life; 15. Epilogue

General Fields

  • : 9780199639793
  • : Oxford University Press
  • : Oxford University Press
  • : November 2012
  • : 216mm X 138mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : December 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : B. Jack Copeland
  • : Hardback
  • : 1212
  • : 510.92
  • : 224
  • : approx 20 black and white illustrations