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The man who knew too much : Alan Turing and the invention of the computer

by Leavitt, David, 1961-

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
Avalon Public Library Nonfiction 510.92 LEA
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  510.92 LEA
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction QA29.T8 L43 2006
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  QA29.T8 L43 2006
Carnegie Library of Homestead Non Fiction 510.92 Leav
Location  Carnegie Library of Homestead
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  510.92 Leav
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction 92 TURING
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  92 TURING
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 TUR
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 TUR
Outlines the English mathematician's efforts in devising a programmable calculating machine, his work in cracking the Nazi Enigma code, and how the revelation of his homosexuality led to his tragic imprisonment and suicide.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Initiated by the definitive biography Alan Turing,0 by Andrew Hodges (1983), the revival of the reputation of the computer theorist continues with this engaging treatment. Leavitt's signal accomplishment is a comprehensible explanation of the mathematical abstractions in Turing's seminal papers, "On Computable Numbers" (1936) and "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (1950), from which derive the popular shorthand of the "Turing machine" and the "Turing test." On the biography side, Leavitt reveals a perceptive understanding of Turing's personality, one more sophisticated than the common view of Turing as a martyr to homophobia. Arrested for an infraction of a law against homosexuality, Turing committed suicide at age 42 in 1954. Its peculiar manner--Turing ate a cyanide-laced apple--induces Leavitt to integrate Turing's obsessions with the film Snow 0 White, with an apparently unrequited love interest who died in Turing's teens, and with ESP into an unconventional speculation. Turing is the model of the solitary, absentminded genius. His tragedy and his intellectual significance, including his role in breaking German ciphers in World War II, come clear in Leavitt's hands. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Hounded by authorities and peers alike, British mathematician Alan Turing committed suicide in 1954 by biting into a cyanide-laced apple. A groundbreaking thinker in the field of pure math, a man principally responsible for breaking the Enigma code used by the Germans during WWII and the originator of the ideas that led to the invention of the computer, Turing was also an avowed homosexual at a time when such behavior flew in the face of both convention and the law. Leavitt (The Body of Jonah Boyd) writes that the unfailingly logical Turing was so literal minded, he "neither glorified nor anthologized" his homosexuality. Educated at King's College, Cambridge, and Princeton, Turing produced the landmark paper "On Computable Numbers" in 1937, where he proposed the radical idea that machines would and could "think" for themselves. Despite his Enigma code-breaking prowess during the war, which gave the Allies a crucial advantage, Turing was arrested in 1952 and charged with committing acts of gross indecency with another man. With lyrical prose and great compassion, Leavitt has produced a simple book about a complex man involved in an almost unfathomable task that is accessible to any reader. Illus. (Nov. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Great discoveries.
Subjects Turing, Alan, -- 1912-1954.
Mathematicians -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Gay men -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- Great Britain.
Artificial intelligence -- History.
Publisher New York :W. W. Norton,2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Notes "Atlas books."
Description 319 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 281-303) and index.
ISBN 0393052362 (hardcover)
Other Classic View