Turing centenary

The Alan Turing Year was celebrated worldwide in 2012. Multiple Turing events were held in several cities. I attended quite a few of those events myself and audio recorded the speeches. My objective here is to compare and contrast claims that computer professionals, historians, and others have made about Turing and our field.

Difficulties of Writing About Turing's Legacy

Dated: 

3 September 2013

My mentor, the historian Gerard Alberts, has advised me repeatedly during the past four years not to use technological concepts, like `program', `compiler', and `universal Turing machine', as subjects of my sentences. Instead, I should use historical actors. For example, I should not write

During the 1950s, a universal Turing machine became widely accepted as a conceptual abstraction of a computer.

Instead, I should write

By 1955, Saul Gorn viewed a universal Turing machine as a conceptual abstraction of his computer.

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