COMPUTING 2011

Symposium on 75 Years of Turing Machine and Lambda-Calculus

Karlsruhe, Germany, October 20-21, 2011

The Institute of Cryptography and Security and the Institute of Theoretical Informatics of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology announce COMPUTING 2011, a symposium devoted to the 75th anniversary of two pioneering works on the theory of computation: ‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’ by Alan Turing and ‘An Unsolvable Problem of Elementary Number Theory’ by Alonzo Church.

In the first half of the 20th Century several attempts to formalize the notion of computability led to the following results:

  • American mathematician Alonzo Church created a method for defining functions called the lambda-calculus. Subsequently, in 1936 Church isolated and published just the portion relevant to computation, what is now called the untyped lambda-calculus.
  • British mathematician Alan Turing introduced a theoretical model for a machine, now called a Turing machine, that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules.
‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem’ by Alan Turing appeared in 1936. This work together with ‘An Unsolvable Problem of Elementary Number Theory’ by Alonzo Church, published also in 1936, initiated the important branch of computer science that investigates problems too hard to be solvable by Turing machine.
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