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Questions tagged [computer-scientists]

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26 votes
4 answers

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

In the film "The Imitation Game" Alan Turing, while being interviewed at Bletchley Park, confesses that he doesn't speak German, which almost makes him fail the interview. I think I read ...
bereal's user avatar
  • 363
1 vote
1 answer

What does the 'W.H.' stand for in 'J.H.W.H. Conway' in Knuth's book Surreal Numbers?

In his book Surreal Numbers Donald Knuth refers to John Horton Conway as J.H.W.H. Conway. The J is for John and the H for Horton, but what about the W and the H? I have searched for Conway's middle ...
dwolfeu's user avatar
  • 135
1 vote
0 answers

What's the second name of the computer scientist Cliff B. Jones?

The first name of the computer scientist Cliff B. Jones is, apparently, Clifford. What is his second name?
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers

Has Turing's invention of Turing machines contributed to the development of real computers?

Has Turing's invention of Turing machines contributed to the development of real computers, which resulted in the personal computers we currently use? I often saw it mentioned that this is an ...
user51244's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers

Derek Oppen and the Nelson-Oppen combination procedure

Derek Oppen was a student of Stephen Cook known for the Nelson-Oppen combination of decision procedures method. Yet, there is no Wikipedia entry dedicated to him and his publication list extends ...
user1868607's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers

Who were the major thinkers before Turing to ask whether machines can think? How come Turing's Test lasted as the influential one?

Turing Test has often been referred to both in academia and outside it when talking about AI. Yet there were I suppose many more thinkers except for Turing, possibly Descartes among them, that dealt ...
SAFI's user avatar
  • 343
2 votes
1 answer

Was a work of Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage inspiration for pioneers of modern computing?

Recently, I came across a book about Grace Hopper where it is stated that Howard Aiken wanted her to become familiar with papers by Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage as he considered some of Babbage's ...
Martin Vesely's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers

How did Yao come up with his minimum spanning tree algorithm?

I recently stumbled upon this text about Yao's algorithm for the minimum spanning tree (MST) and I was wondering if there are some preceding algorithms (other than Sollin's algorithm) that were ...
GEP's user avatar
  • 1,515
5 votes
1 answer

Can we fairly assess Ada Lovelace's talent for mathematics?

Dorothy Stein, a biographer of Ada Lovelace, was pretty blunt in her assessment: Lovelace was a mediocre mathematician, for example see here. I wonder if she's fair to her. The fact that Lovelace ...
viuser's user avatar
  • 181
9 votes
1 answer

Was there an intentional purge of all audio recordings of Alan Turing?

The YouTube video Alan Turing's lost radio broadcast rerecorded contains a re-enactment of Alan Turing's lecture broadcast by the BBC. In the introduction, the narrator (James Grimes, also of the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,187
12 votes
1 answer

Did Turing know of Babbage's work?

Did Turing have any knowledge of Babbage's work? Is it known if he ever mentioned Babbage?
cuihtlauac's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer

Why is the Halting problem attributed to Alan Turing?

The halting problem is a very famous example from computability theory of a problem that is undecidable. It is often said that the proof of its undecidability was given by Alan Turing, indeed ...
mrp's user avatar
  • 201