Google is celebrating a milestone birthday of one of the most important people in the world of computing. It’s a posthumous celebration, though. Alan Turing, a man who paved the way for what would become the era of computing, was born 100 years ago this month. In addition to creating a special doodle in Turing’s honor, Google also wrote a blog post detailing how the man’s contributions will not be forgotten.
Turing pioneered the concept of “algorithms,” something that is a commonplace word today, no more so than in the Mountain View, CA offices of Google. In fact, it’s probably one of the company’s favorite words. Turing wrote a paper on the subject, entitled “On Computable Numbers.” The astounding part – he wrote it in 1936, long before anyone would invent what we take for granted today as a computer. He referred to such a device only hypothetically.
“A computing machine—today better known as a Turing machine—was the hypothetical device that Turing dreamed up to run his algorithms. In the 1930’s, a ‘computer’ was what you called a person who did calculations—it was a profession, not an object,” Google wrote in its blog post. To see the rest of the entry, check out the “via” link below. Hopefully Turing is looking down from above to see how much his work is still appreciated.
[via Google Blog]