RARE FIRST EDITIONS OF SEVEN PAPERS ON COMPUTING AND MATHEMATICS BY ALAN TURING
TURING, Alan. "A Method for the Calculation of the Zeta-Function." FROM: Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. Second Series, Volume 48, pp. 180-97. BOUND WITH: "Finite Approximations to Lie Groups." FROM: Annals of Mathematics, Volume 39, Number 1, pp. 105-11. BOUND WITH: "The Word Problem in Semi-Groups with Cancellation." FROM: Annals of Mathematics, Volume 52, Number 2, pp. 491-505. BOUND WITH: "The Function in [Lambda]-[Kappa] Conversion." FROM: The Journal of Symbolic Logic, Volume 2, Number 4, p. 164. BOUND WITH: "Computability and [Lambda]-Definability." FROM: The Journal of Symbolic Logic, Volume 7, Number 1, pp. 153-163. BOUND WITH: "Practical Forms of Type Theory." FROM: The Journal of Symbolic Logic, Volume 13, Number 2, pp. 80-94. BOUND WITH: NEWMAN, H.A. and TURING, A.M. "A Formal Theorem in Church's Theory of Types." FROM: The Journal of Symbolic Logic, Volume 7, Number 2, pp. 28-33. London, 1937-48. Slim octavo, modern gilt-stamped green cloth, patterned endpapers.
First printing of seven important mathematical papers written by Alan Turing during the 1930s and 1940s, bound together by a nuclear engineer.
Alan Turing's "work can be regarded as the foundation of computer science and of the artificial intelligence program… His central contribution to science and philosophy came through his treating the subject of symbolic logic as a new branch of applied mathematics, giving it a physical and engineering content. Unwilling or unable to remain within any standard role or department of thought, Alan Turing continued a life full of incongruity. Though a shy, boyish, man, he had a pivotal role in world history through his role in Second World War cryptology. Though the founder of the dominant technology of the 20th century, he variously impressed, charmed or disturbed people with his unworldly innocence and his dislike of moral or intellectual compromise" (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). "A Method for the Calculation of the Zeta-Function" concerns Turing's creation of a machine—a proto-computer—to calculate the density of primes using Reimann's zeta-function. "Finite Approximations to Lie Groups" answers (in the negative) a question that Von Neumann passed on to Turing about whether continuous groups could be approximated by finite groups. "The Word Problem in Semi-Groups with Cancellation" proves that the word problem is undecidable for semi-groups with cancellation. "The Function in [Lambda]-[Kappa] Conversion" concerns the Lambda-Kappa conversion, the subject of some of Turing's most important work. "Computability and [Lambda]-Definability" deals with Turing's contention that "every [lamba]-definable function is computable and that every computable function is general recursive," leading to an argument about the equivalence of [lambda]-definability and [lambda]-[kappa] definability. "Practical Forms of Type Theory" serves as an extension of Turing's Bletchley work and was written specifically for a Harvard symposium on large-scale digital computing that attracted several of Turing's friends such as Claude Shannon. "A Formal Theorem in Church's Theory of Types" discusses highly technical mathematical theories based on Alonzo Church's work; it was written while Turing was at Bletchley, yet still collaborating with Cambridge mathematics professor H.A. Newman. Overall, this collection of papers tracks Turing from his earliest engagement with computing and engineering to his post-Bletchley career in the 1940s. First leaf (pp. 153-54) of "Computability and [Lamba]-Definability" is misbound at the end of that article. Name and date label on first page of Ralph E. Traber, an engineer who worked on a nuclear power plant construction. Traber appears to have been responsible for binding these papers together.