Alan Turing in Israel

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Days since the Centenary: 75
Days to the Bicentennial: 36,449

One thing that the international Alan Turing Year has made evident as events, gathering, talks, and creative works have been unveiled, launched, or convened: even 58 years after Turing’s death there are still a lot of ideas to be mined from his work.

This becomes apparent all over again if you review some of the presentations at the Turing Centenary Conference in Israel (April 4, 2012).

Turing Centenary Conference (Israel) Agenda

Turing Centenary Conference (Israel) Agenda

The good folks who put on the event have posted a number of the lectures on Youtube for the benefit of those of us who just couldn’t make it to Israel this April.

I’m posting three of them here that are in English. Naturally some of them are in Hebrew, which is an impediment for me but for those who speak the language you can find a complete set of the videos here.

The first comes from Alfred Spector, who is Vice President of Research at Google, and who puts Turing’s work in an historical perspective in what is probably the most accessible of the three talks posted here, “From Turing to Contemporary Systems and Beyond.”

Next up is Professor Michael Rabin, with a presentation called “Turing, Church, Gödel, Computability, Complexity, and Randomization.” As a long-time proponent of aleatoric art — that is, art that embodies an element of randomness, like William Burroughs’ cut up writing — I can enjoy a lecture touching on randomization even when there are parts of it that are beyond me.

Finally, we have Professor Jacob Ziv, with his “A Non-probabilistic Approach to Classification of Individual Sequences.”

Fortunately for the non-mathematicians among us he leads with a joke.

Okay, I need to do something physical now before my brain implodes. I’m going to walk to the beach, sit under a palm tree, and watch the waves roll in off the Atlantic for a while.

Of course after this I’ll probably see the waves as disturbances travelling through spacetime accompanied by a transfer of energy, but that’s okay — science only adds awe to life.


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