Via ACM TechNews
This year a series of events around the world will celebrate the work of Alan Turing, the father of the modern computer, as the 100th anniversary of his birthday approaches on June 23. In a book chapter that will be published later this year, mathematician Robert Soare, the founding chairman of the University of Chicago’s computer science department, will propose that Turing’s achievement was artistic as well as scientific.
Turing is remembered for developing concepts that made modern computers possible, and for leading complex military decoding efforts that proved critical in World War II. But Soare argues that Turing's landmark 1936 paper on computability theory contains beauty as well as scientific breakthroughs. He compares the concepts in that paper to Michelangelo’s statue, David. “Michelangelo and Turing both completely transcended conventional approaches. They created something completely new from their own visions, something which went far beyond the achievements of their contemporaries,” Soare writes.