imitation game movie

Jon Elson elson at
Tue Feb 10 22:18:38 CST 2015

On 02/10/2015 01:13 PM, Noel Chiappa wrote:
>      > From: Jon Elson
>      > How about John von Neumann? Geez, I think he really ranks above Turing,
>      > at least as far as building real machines.
> This is unclear, for a whole host of reasons.
> First, you should look at Turing's ACE.
Yes, I'm aware of the ACE.
> Turing was heavily involved in early computer work from the end of WWII until
> his death (e.g. at the start of that period, he attended the Symposium on
> Large Scale Digital Calculating Machinery at Hardvard in February, 1947).
Yes, and I think that's where the Harvard Architecture vs. 
von Neumann architecture
definition came from.
> Second, when assessing the relative important of the contributions of Turing
> and von Neumann, there are a number of things to take into account.
> First, one needs to be aware that he and Turing were close colleagues
Yes, aware of that, too.
> ; before
> WWII, Turing spent a year at Princeton working with von Neumann (who wanted
> to hire Turing as his assistant, at the end of Turing's year there). During
> WWII, Turing spent a long visit in the US (from November 1942 to March 1943),
> during which he spent a lot of time at Bell Labs, where when not doing
> war-work, he discussed computing machine with people there, including
> Shannon. So Turing's ideas on stored program computing devices were well
> known to von Neumann - who in fact seems to have always credited Turing with
> the idea (see Copeland, "Turing", pp. 130-131).
> Second, the 'EDVAC Report', despite the fact that it had only von Neumann's
> name on it, in fact reported on a series of design discussions between he,
> Eckert and Mauchly - and the latter two were rather annoyed that their
> contributions were not adequately recognized in it.
Yes, I should have included Eckert and Mauchly, too, but the 
list was getting long.


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