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BOOK REVIEW: Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson

Review by Tom Siegfried

Computers are mathematically pretty powerful, considering the only numbers they use are 0 and 1. That power, of course, stems from binary digital logic, dimly foreseen by Francis Bacon four centuries ago and articulated more clearly by Leibniz several decades later. But the modern computer’s ability to exploit that power grew from the mathematical imagination of Alan Turing (SN: 6/30/12, p. 26) in work appearing a few years before World War II.

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