turing-machine

Turing machine

[toor-ing, tyoor-]
noun Mathematics.
a hypothetical device with a set of logical rules of computation: the concept is used in mathematical studies of the computability of numbers and in the mathematical theories of automata and computers.

Origin:
after Alan M. Turing (1912–54), English mathematician, who described such a machine in 1936

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World English Dictionary
Turing machine
 
n
a hypothetical universal computing machine able to modify its original instructions by reading, erasing, or writing a new symbol on a moving tape of fixed length that acts as its program. The concept was instrumental in the early development of computer systems

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Turing machine
1937, named for Eng. mathematician and computer pioneer Alan M. Turing (1912-54), who described such a device in 1936.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Turing machine  
An abstract model of a computing device, used in mathematical studies of computability. A Turing machine takes a tape with a string of symbols on it as an input, and can respond to a given symbol by changing its internal state, writing a new symbol on the tape, shifting the tape right or left to the next symbol, or halting. The inner state of the Turing machine is described by a finite state machine. It has been shown that if the answer to a computational problem can be computed in a finite amount of time, then there exists an abstract Turing machine that can compute it.
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