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# The Universal Computer: The Road from Leibnitz to Turing

by
Martin Davis

Computers are everywhere today -- at work, in the bank, in artist's studios, sometimes even in our pockets -- yet they remain to many of us objects of irreducible mystery. How can today's computers perform such a bewildering variety of tasks if computing is just glorified arithmetic? The answer, as Martin Davis lucidly illustrates, lies in the fact that computers are essen
...more

Hardcover, 272 pages

Published
December 31st 2000
by W. W. Norton & Company
(first published October 2000)

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## Community Reviews

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L'approccio di Davis non è esattamente biografico, anche se il testo contiene varie brevi biografie da quella di Leibniz a quella di Turing; il filo co ...more

He surveys the lives and achievements of thinkers from Leibniz and Babbage to von Neumann and Turing and discusses what these ideas mean for modern computing.

The Universal Computer is a rather quick read, with the biographical content being particularly brisk, and there are points where some readers may like more detail, but this ...more

Nov 22, 2008
Paul Berg
is currently reading it

After reading "Cryptonomicon" and currently on "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson this book at the San Juan College library caught my eye. Martin Davis (who's PHD predates my birth by 8 years) follows the development of the ideas from Leibniz to Turing that lead to the universal computer. I credit Stephenson for sparking an interest in line of thought that is inherent in Crypto' and "The Baroque Cycle". What I found interesting, so far, is that Newton does not have a chapter in this book and is on
...more

[My thanks to Graham Birtwistle for lending me his copy ...more

This book is a model of popular scientific writing.

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