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The father of the modern computer

Who was Alan Turing and why is he regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century? How did he become the father of computer science? How did the development of the Automatic Computing Engine lead to the development of the first modern computer? We spoke with B. Jack Copeland, author of Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age, about Turing’s work. 

How did the Automatic Computing Engine make it possible to invent the first modern computer?

B. Jack Copeland is the Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, and author of Turing: Pioneer of the Information AgeAlan Turing’s Electronic Brain, and Colossus. He is the editor of The Essential Turing. Read the new revelations about Turing’s death after Copeland’s investigation into the inquest.

Visit the Turing hub on the Oxford University Press UK website for the latest news in the Centenary year (2012). Read our previous posts on Alan Turing including: “Maurice Wilkes on Alan Turing” by Peter J. Bentley, “Turing : the irruption of Materialism into thought” by Paul Cockshott, “Alan Turing’s Cryptographic Legacy” by Keith M. Martin, and “Turing’s Grand Unification” by Cristopher Moore and Stephan Mertens, “Computers as authors and the Turing Test” by Kees van Deemter, and “Alan Turing, Code-Breaker” by Jack Copeland.

For more information about Turing’s codebreaking work, and to view digital facsimiles of declassified wartime ‘Ultra’ documents, visit The Turing Archive for the History of Computing. There is also an extensive photo gallery of Turing and his war at www.the-turing-web-book.com.

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