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The Dawn of Software Engineering: From Turing to Dijkstra

from Turing to Dijkstra

Author: Edgar G. Daylight  

Contrary to what many believe, Alan Turing is not the father of the all-purpose computer. Engineers were, independently of Turing, already building such machines during World War II. Turing's influence was felt more in programming after his death than in computer building during his lifetime. The first person to receive a Turing award was a programmer, not a computer builder. Logicians and programmers recast Turing's notions of machine and universality. Gradually, these recast notions helped programmers to see the bigger picture of what they were accomplishing. Later, problems unsolvable with a computer influenced experienced programmers, including Edsger W. Dijkstra. Dijkstra's pioneering work shows that both unsolvability and aesthetics have practical relevance in software engineering. But to what extent did Dijkstra and others depend on Turing's accomplishments? This book presents a revealing synthesis for the modern software engineer and, by doing so, deromanticizes Turing's role in the history of computing.

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Summary

Contrary to what many believe, Alan Turing is not the father of the all-purpose computer. Engineers were, independently of Turing, already building such machines during World War II. Turing's influence was felt more in programming after his death than in computer building during his lifetime. The first person to receive a Turing award was a programmer, not a computer builder. Logicians and programmers recast Turing's notions of machine and universality. Gradually, these recast notions helped programmers to see the bigger picture of what they were accomplishing. Later, problems unsolvable with a computer influenced experienced programmers, including Edsger W. Dijkstra. Dijkstra's pioneering work shows that both unsolvability and aesthetics have practical relevance in software engineering. But to what extent did Dijkstra and others depend on Turing's accomplishments? This book presents a revealing synthesis for the modern software engineer and, by doing so, deromanticizes Turing's role in the history of computing.

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Description

Contrary to what many believe, Alan Turing is not the father of the all-purpose computer. Engineers were, independently of Turing, already building such machines during World War II. Turing's influence was felt more in programming after his death than in computer building during his lifetime. The first person to receive a Turing award was a programmer, not a computer builder. Logicians and programmers recast Turing's notions of machine and universality. Gradually, these recast notions helped programmers to see the bigger picture of what they were accomplishing. Later, problems unsolvable with a computer influenced experienced programmers, including Edsger W. Dijkstra. Dijkstra's pioneering work shows that both unsolvability and aesthetics have practical relevance in software engineering. But to what extent did Dijkstra and others depend on Turing's accomplishments? This book presents a revealing synthesis for the modern software engineer and, by doing so, deromanticizes Turing's role in the history of computing.

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Product Details

Publisher
Lonely Scholar
Published
5th April 2012
Pages
250
ISBN
9789491386022
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