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The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

Alan Turing Decoded

Book - 2016
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"English mathematician and scientist Alan Turing (1912--1954) is credited with many of the foundational principles of contemporary computer science. The Imitation Game presents a historically accurate graphic novel biography of Turing's life, including his groundbreaking work on the fundamentals of cryptography and artificial intelligence. His code breaking efforts led to the cracking of the German Enigma during World War II, work that saved countless lives and accelerated the Allied defeat of the Nazis. While Turing's achievements remain relevant decades after his death, the story of his life in post-war Europe continues to fascinate audiences today. Award-winning duo Jim Ottaviani (the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Feynman and Primates) and artist Leland Purvis (an Eisner and Ignatz Award nominee and occasional reviewer for the Comics Journal) present a factually detailed account of Turing's life and groundbreaking research--as an unconventional genius who was arrested, tried, convicted, and punished for being openly gay, and whose innovative work still fuels the computing and communication systems that define our modern world. Computer science buffs, comics fans, and history aficionados will be captivated by this riveting and tragic story of one of the 20th century's most unsung heroes"--Publisher website.
Publisher: New York : Abrams ComicArts, 2016
ISBN: 9781419718939
Call Number: GN 510.92 OTTAVIANI 2016
Characteristics: 233 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Purvis, Leland - Artist


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Jan 12, 2018

I enjoyed this, just as I enjoyed Ottaviani’s Feynman, which I read in 2012.

“I still work as a librarian by day, but stay up late writing comics about scientists.” I didn’t know he was a librarian too! Aha! That’s right. “He now works at the University of Michigan Library as coordinator of Deep Blue, the university’s institutional repository.[1][2]” [per Wikipedia].

The book consists of some prefatory material, 222 pages of graphic novel, an author’s note a bit over a page long, an annotated 3-page bibliography and recommended reading, and 6-pages of notes and references.

The graphic novel proper consists of the following sections: “Universal Computing” (pp. 1-66), “Top Secret Ultra” [think Bletchley Park] (pp. 67-152), and “The Imitation Game” (pp. 153-222).

Highly recommended! If you know about Turing, and have, like me, perhaps read his papers on universal computing and the imitation game (philosophy and applied computer science undergrad), then this is still a great resource with all of the notes and references to specific works that might be of particular interest to you.

If you know little to nothing about Turing then this is a great introduction. Far better even than the recent (2014) movie, The Imitation Game, with Cumberbatch and Knightley. The presence of actual citations and sources are the basis for this claim.

Sep 06, 2017

This book explains the life of the man who made the Allied victory over Germany in World War II possible wonderfully well! It also exposes the horrors of "gay conversion therapy", and makes it quite clear that even being a national hero won't spare you if you're not of the "right" sexual orientation!

Jan 28, 2017

This is an illustrated biography covering the famous British mathematician Alan Turing's entire life. In my University years, I studied much of Turing's work so I was greatly interested to learn more about his tragic life. There is a fair bit of math in the book, but I would have liked a bit more because most of his important theorems can be expressed so elegantly.

May 29, 2016

Good illustrations, better biography then math explanations.


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Sep 11, 2019

This was so good. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I recommend you read this first anyway.


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