June 07, 2004

Alan Turing

Statue of Alan Turing Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Alan Turing, a pioneer of computer science who also made important contributions to formal language theory. Turing created the Turing Machine, the abstract machine which occupies the highest position in the Chomsky-hierarchy. He also proposed the Turing Test for deciding whether a machine is intelligent.

In addition to his theoretical contributions, Turing was one of the cryptanalysts who worked at Bletchley Park between 1939 and 1945 decrypting intercepted Nazi communications. Together they are credited with changing the course of the war. Ironically, if he were alive today the United States military would not employ him: he was gay.

Posted by Bill Poser at June 7, 2004 10:57 PM