The Turing Machine “for real”

As part of the series “Spring Science Conferences”, the Winston Churchill London International Lycee hosted last week Marc Raynaud, a passionate and captivating mathematics teacher, today retired. His presentation on Alan Turing, included the presentation of the film "The Turing Model", produced in 2012 by CNRS Images and Inria.

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An added bonus, Marc Raynaud performed a demonstration of the prototype of the Turing machine he himself conceived and realised following the specifications established by Alan Turing in a famous article published in 1936. This article is considered as the bedrock of the modern theory of computation and computability.

For the implementation of this quite remarkable machine — it is the only operational Turing machine — Marc Raynaud wanted to use types components (relays, etc.) such as those that were available at the time of this article. He explained the principles of its operation and of its programming. He ran several simple programs using algorithms materialized by perforations on an A4 paper sheet. He also highlighted the practical difficulties he had encountered in building this prototype.

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Published on 19/12/2016

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