Introduction: If CiE Did Not Exist, It Would Be Necessary to Invent It

  • S. Barry Cooper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3526)


As it happens, ”Computability in Europe” was invented, just over two years ago, and in a short time has grown beyond all expectations. But even though the surprise of finding together so many researchers into different aspects of computability has not worn off, CiE does represent a strand of scientific endevour going back to the earliest times. Even before Euclid of Alexandria devised his algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of two integers, human survival depended on the identification of algorithmic content in the everyday world. What distinguished Euclid, and successors like Newton, Leibniz, Frege, Peano, Babbage, Russell, Hilbert, Gödel and Turing, is the reaching for control over that content through theory and abstraction. Perhaps Albert Einstein had something like this in mind in 1950 when he wrote (p.54 of Out of My Later Years, Philosophical Library, New York):


Turing Machine Great Common Divisor Normal Science Computational Paradigm Membrane Computing 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Barry Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MathematicsUniversity of LeedsLeedsU.K

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