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Talk and presentation by Martin Campbell-Kelly from University of Warwick. Title: Alan Turing’s Other Universal Machine

  • Colloquium Series
When Apr 27, 2012
from 03:30 PM to 04:30 PM
Where IF- G.07 & G07A
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In September 1958 Glasgow University took delivery of Scotland’s first electronic computer, an English Electric DEUCE. It was one of over thirty DEUCEs eventually sold. The DEUCE was the commercial derivative of the ACE, a computer designed by Alan Turing at the National Physical Laboratory, London, in 1946. The ACE was a highly innovative design that set it apart from all contemporary computers: the machine traded some complexity of programming for an efficiency gain of a factor of at least five.

This seminar describes the genesis of the ACE from Turing’s On Computable Numbers paper of 1936 and John von Neumann’s EDVAC Report of 1945, and its role in the shaping the early British computer industry.


Martin Campbell-Kelly is a professor specialising in the history of computing, at Warwick University. He has written numerous academic books and articles. He also writes computing history articles for the popular press.

Campbell-Kelly is a Fellow of the BCS, visiting professor at Portsmouth Uni- versity, and a columnist for the Communications of the ACM. He is a member of the ACM History Committee, a council member of the British Society for the History of Mathematics, and a committee member of the BCS Computer Conservation Society, along with several editorial roles.

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