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Turing (a Novel about Computation)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Our hero is Turing, an interactive tutoring program and namesake (or virtual emanation?) of Alan Turing, World War II code breaker and father of computer science. In this unusual novel, Turing's idiosyncratic version of intellectual history from a computational point of view unfolds in tandem with the story of a love affair involving Ethel, a successful computer executive, Alexandros, a melancholy archaeologist, and Ian, a charismatic hacker. After Ethel (who shares her first name with Alan Turing's mother) abandons Alexandros following a sundrenched idyll on Corfu, Turing appears on Alexandros's computer screen to unfurl a tutorial on the history of ideas. He begins with the philosopher-mathematicians of ancient Greece?"discourse, dialogue, argument, proof...can only thrive in an egalitarian society"?and the Arab scholar in ninth-century Baghdad who invented algorithms; he moves on to many other topics, including cryptography and artificial intelligence, even economics and developmental biology. (These lessons are later critiqued amusingly and developed further in postings by a fictional newsgroup in the book's afterword.) As Turing's lectures progress, the lives of Alexandros, Ethel, and Ian converge in dramatic fashion, and the story takes us from Corfu to Hong Kong, from Athens to San Francisco?and of course to the Internet, the disruptive technological and social force that emerges as the main locale and protagonist of the novel.

Alternately pedagogical and romantic, Turing (A Novel about Computation) should appeal both to students and professionals who want a clear and entertaining account of the development of computation and to the general reader who enjoys novels of ideas.

Review:

"This is a delightful book in which science and fiction meet literature and politics. It makes you feel and understand what creativity means and how it relates to the culture of society. And it is great fun!" Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Professor of Communication Technology & Society, University of Southern California, author of The Internet Galaxy

Review:

"Turing sets new standards for the popular exposition of computer science. It is also a very funny book." Donald E. Knuth, Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming, Stanford University

Synopsis:

Alternately pedagogical and romantic, Turing (A Novel about Computation) should appeal both to students and professionals who want a clear and entertaining account of the development of computation and to the general reader who enjoys novels of ideas.

Synopsis:

The world of computation according to Turing, an interactive tutoring program, as told to star-crossed lovers; a novel.

Synopsis:

andlt;Pandgt;Our hero is Turing, an interactive tutoring program and namesake (or virtual emanation?) of Alan Turing, World War II code breaker and father of computer science. In this unusual novel, Turing's idiosyncratic version of intellectual history from a computational point of view unfolds in tandem with the story of a love affair involving Ethel, a successful computer executive, Alexandros, a melancholy archaeologist, and Ian, a charismatic hacker. After Ethel (who shares her first name with Alan Turing's mother) abandons Alexandros following a sundrenched idyll on Corfu, Turing appears on Alexandros's computer screen to unfurl a tutorial on the history of ideas. He begins with the philosopher-mathematicians of ancient Greece — "discourse, dialogue, argument, proof... can only thrive in an egalitarian society" — and the Arab scholar in ninth-century Baghdad who invented algorithms; he moves on to many other topics, including cryptography and artificial intelligence, even economics and developmental biology. (These lessons are later critiqued amusingly and developed further in postings by a fictional newsgroup in the book's afterword.) As Turing's lectures progress, the lives of Alexandros, Ethel, and Ian converge in dramatic fashion, and the story takes us from Corfu to Hong Kong, from Athens to San Francisco — and of course to the Internet, the disruptive technological and social force that emerges as the main locale and protagonist of the novel.Alternately pedagogical and romantic, Turing (A Novel about Computation) should appeal both to students and professionals who want a clear and entertaining account of the development of computation and to the general reader who enjoys novels of ideas.andlt;/Pandgt;

About the Author

Christos H. Papadimitriou is C. Lester Hogan Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of many books on computational theory.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780262162180
Author:
Papadimitriou, Christos H.
Publisher:
The MIT Press
Location:
Cambridge, Mass.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Computer simulation
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Mathematicians
Subject:
Computer scientists
Subject:
Didactic fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Series:
Turing (A Novel about Computation)
Series Volume:
no. 815
Publication Date:
20031010
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
4 illus.
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
8 x 5.375 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Turing (a Novel about Computation) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$40.25 Backorder
Product details 296 pages MIT Press - English 9780262162180 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This is a delightful book in which science and fiction meet literature and politics. It makes you feel and understand what creativity means and how it relates to the culture of society. And it is great fun!" Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Professor of Communication Technology & Society, University of Southern California, author of The Internet Galaxy
"Review" by , "Turing sets new standards for the popular exposition of computer science. It is also a very funny book."
"Synopsis" by , Alternately pedagogical and romantic, Turing (A Novel about Computation) should appeal both to students and professionals who want a clear and entertaining account of the development of computation and to the general reader who enjoys novels of ideas.
"Synopsis" by , The world of computation according to Turing, an interactive tutoring program, as told to star-crossed lovers; a novel.
"Synopsis" by , andlt;Pandgt;Our hero is Turing, an interactive tutoring program and namesake (or virtual emanation?) of Alan Turing, World War II code breaker and father of computer science. In this unusual novel, Turing's idiosyncratic version of intellectual history from a computational point of view unfolds in tandem with the story of a love affair involving Ethel, a successful computer executive, Alexandros, a melancholy archaeologist, and Ian, a charismatic hacker. After Ethel (who shares her first name with Alan Turing's mother) abandons Alexandros following a sundrenched idyll on Corfu, Turing appears on Alexandros's computer screen to unfurl a tutorial on the history of ideas. He begins with the philosopher-mathematicians of ancient Greece — "discourse, dialogue, argument, proof... can only thrive in an egalitarian society" — and the Arab scholar in ninth-century Baghdad who invented algorithms; he moves on to many other topics, including cryptography and artificial intelligence, even economics and developmental biology. (These lessons are later critiqued amusingly and developed further in postings by a fictional newsgroup in the book's afterword.) As Turing's lectures progress, the lives of Alexandros, Ethel, and Ian converge in dramatic fashion, and the story takes us from Corfu to Hong Kong, from Athens to San Francisco — and of course to the Internet, the disruptive technological and social force that emerges as the main locale and protagonist of the novel.Alternately pedagogical and romantic, Turing (A Novel about Computation) should appeal both to students and professionals who want a clear and entertaining account of the development of computation and to the general reader who enjoys novels of ideas.andlt;/Pandgt;
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