The Turing Guide: Life, Work, Legacy
(with Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen & Robin Wilson)
2017 Oxford University Press: Oxford, 576 pp.
Last updated 5 April 2016
Alan Turing has long proved a subject of fascination, but following the centenary of his birth in 2012, the code-breaker, computer pioneer, mathematician (and much more) has become even more celebrated with much media coverage, and several meetings, conferences and books raising public awareness of Turing’s life and work.
This volume brings together contributions from some of the leading experts on Alan Turing to create a comprehensive guide to Turing that will serve as a useful resource for researchers in the area as well as the increasingly interested general reader. The book covers aspects of Turing’s life and the wide range of his intellectual activities, including mathematics, code-breaking, computer science, logic, artificial intelligence and mathematical biology, as well as his subsequent influence.
The Turing Guide is divided into eight main parts, covering various aspects of Alan Turing’s life and work. The book includes a foreword by Andrew Hodges, preface, notes on the contributors, endnotes, and an index.
This is a welcome addition to the existing generally accessible literature that gives additional testimony of the brilliant mind of Alan Turing. There is historical as well as technical material that will be appreciated also by specialists whatever their discipline: history, mathematics, biology, computer science, or philosophy.
– Adhemar Bultheel, The European Mathematical Society
The Turing Guide is an important and valuable contribution to our understanding of an extraordinary scientist and the profound and lasting resonances of his work. The essays are deeply researched, well written, and cogently argued, and the book itself is beautifully produced and amply illustrated.
– SIAM News
Splendidly produced and lavishly illustrated with photographs, drawings and diagrams, the volume is a valuable source not only of high-level, in-depth, wide-ranging articles but also of rare primary sources from the crucial period in the history of science.
– Carla Petrocelli, Nuncius
Offers new perspectives, many photos not in the larger volume, and even new topics for consideration, such as one essay titled “Turing and the Paranormal”. It is a welcome addition to the Turing literature… Highly recommended.
But The Turing Guide, by Jack Copeland, Jonathan Bowen, Mark Sprevak and Robin Wilson, has opened up a universe of Turing’s other pursuits I knew nothing about, inflating my admiration for him and his work by several orders of magnitude. I doubt that there exists a more complete book about Turing’s life and work. A towering figure in the history of computing, but also in history itself, we come to know Turing with a completeness unattained by any preceding work.
– Physics World
A handful of the Guide’s 33 contributors worked at Bletchley and knew Turing personally. Their reminiscences can be fascinating, funny, even moving. … But it is, I think, pretty much the last word on the subject. And it will ensure that while we may never decode the whole of Turing’s mind, his name will never again be forgotten.
– Andrew Robinson, New Scientist
With The Turing Guide, a thick and extensively illustrated new take on combining these different elements, Oxford University Press has struck the right formula. Breaking the story into several sections allows readers to cherry-pick the bits that are of interest to them, either running through from start to finish or sticking to the biographical chapters and using the pointers to sections which go into more technical depth as they wish.
– E&T Magazine
Excellent compendium of essays
– AA Reviews
The Turing Guide is just as its title suggests, a remarkably broad-ranging compendium of Alan Turing’s lifetime contributions. Credible and comprehensive, it is a rewarding exploration of a man, who in his life was appropriately revered and unfairly reviled.
– Vint Cerf, American Internet pioneer
An excellent compendium of essays covering Alan Turing’s life and work, covering everything from his childhood to his final days, from the universal machine to cracking the Enigma, from artificial intelligence to morphogenesis.
– Simon Singh, author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and The Code Book
Turing was a genius who helped shorten the war though his extraordinary solutions to the Enigma and Tunny machines ciphers that the Germans were using … We owe him a huge debt.
– Stephen Fry
The Turing Guide provides a superb collection of articles written from numerous different perspectives, of the life, times, profound ideas, and enormous heritage of Alan Turing and those around him. We find, here, numerous accounts, both personal and historical, of this great and eccentric man, whose life was both tragic and triumphantly influential.
– Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford
There is excellent material on the various aspects of Alan Turing’s wide range of contributions – I recommend The Turing Guide
– Formal Aspects of Computing
Life and work – Jack Copeland and Jonathan Bowen
The man with the terrible trousers – Sir John Dermot Turing
Meeting a genius – Peter Hilton
Crime and punishment – Jack Copeland
The universal machine and beyond
A century of Turing – Stephen Wolfram
Turing’s great invention: The universal computing machine – Jack Copeland
Hilbert and his famous problem – Jack Copeland
Turing and the origins of digital computers – Brian Randell
At Bletchley Park – Jack Copeland
The Enigma machine – Joel Greenberg
Breaking machines with a pencil – Mavis Batey
Bombes – Jack Copeland, with Jean Valentine and Catherine Caughey
Introducing Banburismus – Edward Simpson
Tunny, Hitler’s biggest fish – Jack Copeland
We were the world’s first computer operators – Eleanor Ireland
The Testery: breaking Hitler’s most secret code – Jerry Roberts
Ultra revelations – Brian Randell
Delilah - encrypting speech – Jack Copeland
Turing’s Monument – Simon Greenish, Jonathan Bowen, and Jack Copeland
Computers after the war
Baby – Jack Copeland
ACE – Martin Campbell-Kelly
Turing’s Zeitgeist – Brian E. Carpenter and Robert W. Doran
Computer music – Jack Copeland and Jason Long
Turing, Lovelace, and Babbage – Doron Swade
Artificial intelligence and the mind
Intelligent machinery – Jack Copeland
The Turing test - from every angle – Diane Proudfoot
Turing’s concept of intelligence – Diane Proudfoot
Connectionism: computing with neurons – Jack Copeland and Diane Proudfoot
Child machines – Diane Proudfoot
Computer chess - the first moments – Jack Copeland and Dani Prinz
Turing and the paranormal – David Leavitt
Pioneer of artificial life – Margaret Boden
Turing’s theory of morphogenesis – Thomas E. Woolley, Ruth Baker, and Philip Maini
Radiolaria: validating the Turing theory – Bernard Richards
Introducing Turing’s mathematics – Robin Whitty and Robin Wilson
Decidability and the Entscheidungsproblem – Robin Whitty
Banburismus revisited: Depths and Bayes – Edward Simpson
Turing and randomness – Rod Downey
Turing’s mentor, Max Newman – Ivor Grattan-Guinness
Turing’s legacy – Jonathan Bowen