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Book Review: “Alan Turing and the Power of Curiosity” by Karla Valenti et.al.

A My Super Science Heroes Book

Review written by Miriam Stone, Director of the Oley Valley Community Library

This book is part of the My Super Science Heroes Series and follows Superhero Alan Turing as he uses his super curiosity to discover patterns and crack codes. It includes bonus activities and facts about ciphers and codes.

It is intended for audiences ages 4 to 8 years old, but has been enjoyed by many kids who are older than eight, as well.

As a young child, Turing was interested in books, numbers, and puzzles. In school, he won all the mathematical prizes. He could solve advanced mathematical problems and developed his own chemical experiments. In addition to his intellectual skills, he was a great athlete and tried out to be an Olympic runner.

He was a computer pioneer and is considered the father of modern computer science. He was born in 1912 in England and became one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century. He helped the allies defeat the Germans in World War II by cracking the Nazi enigma code, and his work saved thousands of lives and ended the war.

Scientists during his time were attempting to determine whether any mathematical statement can be proven true or false through a step-by-step procedure called an algorithm.

Turing discovered that some mathematical problems can’t be proved by an algorithm and he invented the universal Turing machine which is the model for the computers we use today.

He was influential not only in the computer field but also in the field of artificial intelligence before either of them was invented. He is best known for the “Turing test” which is the process used to determine the ability of a machine to think.

Today our computing devices processors and chips are all built upon the ideas of Alan Turing.

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