Thore Husfeldt: Let us calculate! — From Leibniz to Turing

This Friday, 22nd of June at 18.30, the first Alan Turing 2012 meeting at UiB will take place. At 18.30, we will show a pre-release version of the movie Codebreaker. At 19.30, there will be a talk by Thore Husfeldt, called “Let us calculate! — From Leibniz to Turing”. It will all take place at Kvarteret, Det Akademiske Kvarter, in the hall Tivoli.

CODEBREAKER tells the remarkable and tragic story of one of the 20th century’s most important people. Alan Turing set in motion the computer age and his World War II codebreaking helped turn the tide of the Second World War.

Instead of receiving accolades, Turing faced terrible persecution. In 1952, the British Government forced him to undergo chemical castration as punishment for his homosexuality. In despair, Turing committed suicide. He was only 41 years old.

Documentary elements seamlessly interconnect with drama scenes in CODEBREAKER to offer a three dimensional picture of Turing, his accomplishments, his tragic end, and his lasting legacy.

For a short trailer, visit Alan Turing Film Trailer.


Let us calculate! — From Leibniz to Turing

Thore Husfeldt, Lund University and ITU Copenhagen

I describe the intellectual history of computational thinking, beginning with the vision of Leibniz, an early advocate of rationalism, to solve differences of opinion by symbolic reasoning in a sufficiently strong formal system. From there, the road goes via Boole, Frege, Russel, and Gödel to heartbreak and catastrophe, and via Alan Turing to the triumph of the mechanical, algorithmic worldview of today. I end with an appraisal of the possible consequences of the algorithmic world for sex, lies, and videotapes, and the future of mankind.