[SIGCIS-Members] Washington Post article about Turing

McMillan, William W william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu
Sun Feb 22 05:13:20 PST 2015

You can understand Turing being held up as the "inventor" of computer science.  His theoretical contributions are on the level of discovering atoms in chemistry or developing set theory in mathematics.

But, as my mother says, let's let the curtain of charity fall on the other claim.

- Bill

From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [members-bounces at sigcis.org] on behalf of Ceruzzi, Paul [CeruzziP at si.edu]
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2015 8:47 AM
To: sigcis
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Washington Post article about Turing

On the front page of today's Washington Post is an article by Joel Achenbach about Turing's 1936 paper and its influence on computer science. All well and good, except later on he quotes the Chair of the Computer Science Department at Princeton as saying "...Turing invented computer science and John von Neumann built the first stored-program computer." An example of The Matthew Effect ("them that's got shall have; them that's not shall lose").

Overall, Achenbach has written an very good summary of Turing's contributions. He also gets one thing right (unless I am mistaken): we really don't know to what extent von Neumann and Turing discussed these concepts when both were at Princeton.

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