Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

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Penguin Books Limited, Mar 1, 2012 - Science - 432 pages
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How did computers take over the world? In late 1945, a small group of brilliant engineers and mathematicians gathered at the newly created Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Their ostensible goal was to build a computer which would be instrumental in the US government's race to create a hydrogen bomb. The mathematicians themselves, however, saw their project as the realization of Alan Turing's theoretical 'universal machine.'

In Turing's Cathedral, George Dyson vividly re-creates the intense experimentation, incredible mathematical insight and pure creative genius that led to the dawn of the digital universe, uncovering a wealth of new material to bring a human story of extraordinary men and women and their ideas to life. From the lowliest iPhone app to Google's sprawling metazoan codes, we now live in a world of self-replicating numbers and self-reproducing machines whose origins go back to a 5-kilobyte matrix that still holds clues as to what may lie ahead.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paul_S - LibraryThing

Title should read "Von Neumann machines: The human stories". You're welcome dear publisher. I hope you've already read and know the history of the creation of the computer because this book dispenses ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PDCRead - LibraryThing

Three quarters of a century ago a small number of men and women gathered in Princeton, New Jersey. Under the direction of John von Neumann they were to begin building one of the world’s first ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

George Dyson is a historian and philosopher of science, and the author of Baidarka, Project Orion, and Darwin Among the Machines. As the son of the renowned theoretical physicist and mathematician, Freeman Dyson, he grew up among some of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th Century's Atomic Age.

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