Alan Turing

Alan Turing

Born: June 23, 1912

Died: June 7, 1954

Nationality: English

Occupation: Mathematician

Biography: Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, giving a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer.

Source/Notes: His 1950 definition of the Turing Test. Variant: "a machine is termed capable of thinking if it can, under certain prescribed conditions, imitate a human being by answering questions sufficiently well to deceive a human questioner for a reasonable period of time." This variant is quoted in: "Automata Studies", edited by C.E. Shannon & J. McCarthy (Princeton University Press, 1956)

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Source/Notes: Letter to Robin Gandy, 1954; reprinted in Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: the Enigma (Vintage edition 1992), p. 513

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