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Turing machine

[too r-ing, tyoo r-] /ˈtʊər ɪŋ, ˈtyʊər-/
noun, Mathematics
1.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for turing-machine

Turing machine

noun
1.
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for turing-machine
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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turing-machine in Science
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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