Turing's Cathedral

Turing's Cathedral

[the Origins of the Digital Universe]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2012
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Legendary historian and philosopher of science George Dyson vividly re-creates the scenes of focused experimentation, incredible mathematical insight, and pure creative genius that gave us computers, digital television, modern genetics, models of stellar evolution--in other words, computer code. In the 1940s and '50s, a group of eccentric geniuses--led by John von Neumann--gathered at the newly created Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey...
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2012
Edition: Library ed
ISBN: 9780307969095
Branch Call Number: Online Audio Book
Characteristics: 1 sound file (15 hr., 40 min., 44 sec.) :,digital
Additional Contributors: Morey, Arthur
OverDrive, Inc


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May 23, 2013

Despite the title, only obliquely related to British mathematician and founder of the field of computer science, Alan Turing. Instead the focus is on von Neumann's development of early tube computers and their use in the design of thermo-nuclear weapons. If you'd like a sense of what it was like during those heady days at Princeton with von Neumann, Kurt Goedel, and Albert Einstein as faculty members, this is a good read. My only complaint is the author tends to lose focus and wander, rather than staying to the important themes and their resolution. In an apparent attempt to provide the ultimate comprehensive biography, he gets bogged down in unimportant details, for example von Neumann's traffic tickets. This tends to make the going a little scatter-shot and tedius at times.


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May 23, 2013

A semi-biography of Hungarian scientist John von Neumann, who left Nazi Europe in the 1930's, and landed at the Princeton Advanced Study Institute, along with Kurt Goedel and Albert Einstein. In particular, Von Neumann's leadership in the design of the earliest electronic tube computers based on the Turing stored-program architecture, and then how these computers were used to design the first thermo- nuclear weapons

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