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The Digital MindHow Science is Redefining Humanity$
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Arlindo Oliveira

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036030

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036030.001.0001

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The Universal Machine

The Universal Machine

Chapter:
(p.55) 4 The Universal Machine
Source:
The Digital Mind
Author(s):

Arlindo Oliveira

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036030.003.0004

This chapter covers the development of computing, from its origins, with the analytical engine, to modern computer science. Babbage and Ada Lovelace’s contributions to the science of computing led, in time, to the idea of universal computers, proposed by Alan Turing. These universal computers, proposed by Turing, are conceptual devices that can compute anything that can possibly be computed. The basic concepts created by Turing and Church were further developed to create the edifice of modern computer science and, in particular, the concepts of algorithms, computability, and complexity, covered in this chapter. The chapter ends describing the Church-Turing thesis, which states that anything that can be computed can be computed by a Turing machine.

Keywords:   Analytical engine, Turing machines, Algorithms, Computability, Complexity, Curch-Turing thesis

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