Math Colloquium: "The Church-Turing Thesis and its Controversy"Math Colloquium: "The Church-Turing Thesis and its Controversy"http://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/259936KINSC Hilles 109 2014-02-10T16:00:002014-02-10T17:00:00
February 10, 4:00PM–5:00PM
KINSC Hilles 109
Rachel Epstein (Swarthmore College). KINSC H109.
Bi-College Math Colloquium
"The Church-Turing Thesis and its Controversy"
Rachel Epstein, Swarthmore College.
Talk at 4 in KINSC H109
Tea at 3:30 in the Math Lounge (KINSC H208)
Abstract: In 1936, Alan Turing wrote a revolutionary paper in which he described what we now call a Turing machine. He argued that any function from the natural numbers to itself is computable by some algorithm that a human could execute (given unlimited time and memory) if and only if the function is computable by a Turing machine. This is what is known as the Church-Turing Thesis. Recently, there has been some debate about the Church-Turing thesis. Some people argue that it should be called a theorem instead of a thesis because it is defitely true, while there are others who argue that it isn't true at all and should be abandoned completely. Still others argue for something in between. We will discuss these various viewpoints, including what some say is Turing's "proof" of the thesis as well as the idea that quantum physics or general relativity can overturn the thesis and make it possible to compute things that we once thought were not computable.
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