Besides containing math that helped to advance work on the Riemann Hypothesis, Turing’s paper “Some Calculations of the Riemann Zeta Function” also contains a great snapshot of what it was like to program the first generation of electronic computers. I’ll start with the widely-quoted introduction to the paper, which I’ve annotated a bit: “In June […]

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
“It was a great loss to natural science as well as to mathematics when, on June 8, at the age of 41, he was found dead in his house at Wilmslow in Chesire.” — Kings Report 1954 [No mention of his wartime achievements, of his sexuality, or of suicide.] “Turing took a particular delight in […]

“The binary scale seems particularly well suited for electronic computation because of its simplicity and the fact that valve equipment can very easily produce and distinguish two sizes of pulse. Apart from the input and output the binary scale will be used throughout in the [ACE].” — Alan Turing describing the ACE electronic computer

I’ve marked-up this quote taken from the system programming manual written by Alan Turing for the Ferranti Mark I computer. (The manual is available from the Turing archive.) Scales of notation The information stored on paper by the human computer will mostly consist of sequences of digits drawn from 0, 1, …, 9. There […]