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The Essential Turing: Classic Writings on Minds and Computers [Hardcover]

B. J. Copeland

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Book Description

March 3 2005 0198250797 978-0198250791
This title includes the following features: the first purchasable book by Turing; the ideas that gave birth to modern computing; designed for a general readership; brings together unpublished and inaccessible pieces; introduction gives a clear overview of Turing's life and works; highly relevant to his famous work in WWII codebreaking

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Review


"Both the editorial commentaries and Turing's own writings are engrossing reading."--The Review of Modern Logic


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numerous line drawings and halftones

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The "computable" numbers may be described briefly as the real numbers whose expressions as a decimal are calculable by finite means. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a long overdue book Sept. 11 2005
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A long overdue book. Copeland collects together Turing's greatest papers. As in where Turing tackled the fundamentals of what is now called a Turing machine - ie. a universal computer. Plus other papers where Turing ruminated on artificial intelligence, and founded that field. Plus coming up with the Turing Test for AI.

Turing's papers are interleaved with chapters by Copeland that give extra context to the times in which Turing lived. Notably on Turing's crucial contribution to the Enigma project at Bletchley Park during World War 2. It is no exaggeration to say that his insight into decoding the German encryptions saved the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers.

Valuable also is a reprinting of Turing's "Treatise on the Enigma", which was only declassified in 1996. Though by then, its essence had been known for decades. Finally, the book lets you read Turing's words on Enigma.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A valuable addition in paraphrasing Turing March 21 2005
By Adnan Masood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Copeland's "Essential Turing" reviews Turning's major writings and is a valuable source of knowledge for computer scientists and avid CS/Mathematics readers alike. Turing was a brilliant British mathematician, logician, and cryptographer and is widely considered to be the father of computer science. This book doesn't portray him merely as a code breaker but also provides commentary on his brilliant foundation work as on Artificial intelligence. Discussion on the ultimate Turing test (proposal for a test of a machine's capability to perform human-like conversation) and Entscheidungs Problem is worth reading.

I shelve this book next to Knuth's "The Art of Computer Programming" which may state what it's worth.
29 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A collection of Turing's papers Feb. 28 2005
By Tom Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Copeland's book is basically a collection of some of Turing's original papers, completed with a short introduction for each part of the book. I was disappointed by this book as (1) one can easily find copies of Turing's work on the web, (2) there is very little additional value in Copeland's comments, and (3) the papers are not reproduced in their original typeset and layout. Elsevier's "Collected Works of A. M. Turing" (4 volumes) does a much better job and offers Turing's complete work.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent edition, long overdue Oct. 25 2005
By Dr. A. Eden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Enjoy this profound book by the father of the Digital Age. The Essential Turing is an excellent edition and long overdue. Turing's essential works are finally available in a single volume. Turing is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century--he was rated up there with Einstein in Time magazine's 'The Century's Greatest Minds'. Copeland's lucid commentaries on Turing's work are fascinating and helpful. OUP is to be congratulated on putting Turing into the hands of the popular science book-buyer at long last.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Accessible Introduction to Turing Aug. 21 2005
By J. C. Arkell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a terrific book. Turing is one of the most important figures of our time. Copeland's lucid and helpful introductions to Turing's key works make fascinating reading. (The hundreds of footnotes are testimony to the depth of scholarship that underlies Copeland's smooth prose.) Copeland makes Turing, and so the origins of the digital age, accessible to all.

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