35 votes

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

By the time he was at university, Alan Turing had sufficient facility at reading German (in gothic type no less) that he was reading advanced texts on Quantum Mechanics. In chapter 4 of the biography &...
Daniel S's user avatar
  • 466
23 votes

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

Alan Turing's report cards from Sherborne School indicate that he studied German in 1930 and 1931, but his teacher Geoffrey John Bromehead Watkins noted in 1931 that He does not seem to have any ...
njuffa's user avatar
  • 6,516
16 votes

Did Turing know of Babbage's work?

See: Alan Turing, Collected works: Mathematical Logic (R.O. Gandy & C.E.M. Yates editors, 2001). [page 10, regarding Turing's paper On computable numbers... (1937)] It should be remarked that ...
Mauro ALLEGRANZA's user avatar
14 votes

Did Alan Turing know the German language?

This is not really evidence, but according to https://www.ams.org/notices/200910/rtx091001236p.pdf according to Hodges, [Andrew] Gleason took Alan [Turing] to a crowded restaurant on 18th Street. ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
  • 2,555
10 votes

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

There is no evidence for an intentional purge of all audio recordings of Alan Turing. The BBC recordings seem to be the only ones ever made by Turing, so there wasn't really anything to "purge&...
David Bailey's user avatar
  • 1,222
5 votes

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

As mentioned in the comment by Conifold, it is very hard and subjective to assess a talent for anything. It may be true that Ada Lovelace did some basics mistakes and she had some typos or ...
Martin Vesely's user avatar
4 votes

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

I don't have a fully satisfactory answer, but maybe this helps. First one should note that Tarjan came up with an $O(m \log \log n)$-algorithm roughly at the same time. It's in this technical report: ...
Flowi's user avatar
  • 56
3 votes

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

In Surreal Numbers there is already a passage where Bill says, The JHWH might also stand for "Jehovah." According to the paper you already cited (D. M. Berry, M. Yavne, Math Magazine 1976):...
Mauricio's user avatar
  • 3,897
2 votes

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

Adding to Flowi's excellent answer, it seems that the main new ingredient in Yao's algorithm is a linear-time selection algorithm, which was new at the time. I think Yao's algorithm is natural once a ...
Hermann Gruber's user avatar
1 vote

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

According to Wikipedia: Ada is a programming language designed a team led by Jean Ichbiah at Honeywell under contract to the US Department of Defense from 1977-1983 to supersede over 450 programming ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar

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