Alan Turing's brilliance recreated in LEGO
Published Jun 21 2012, 16:29 BST | By Andrew Laughlin
LEGO blocks and pieces have been used to recreate the original Turing Machine to honour the achievements of its creator.
Alan Turing was a brilliant, British mathematician who is widely considered as "the father of computer science and artificial intelligence".
Introduced in 1936, his Turing Machine helped define the theoretical basis for modern computers.
It was not intended to be a practical computing device, but rather a hypothetical theory that represents a computing machine.
It works by manipulating a strip of tape according to a table to rules. This can be adapted to simulate any computer algorithm, essentially forming the basis of a modern CPU.
In order to show the fundamental model of what makes a computer, Jeroen van den Bos and Davy Landman built a physical implementation of the Turing Machine using LEGO.
While Turing's idea used infinite tape, the researchers had to build their machine using a tape size fixed to 32 positions.
The LEGO Turing machine was built for display at the Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica in the Netherlands as part of an Alan Turing exhibition.
There have been various celebrations around the world ahead of what would have been Turing's 100th birthday on Saturday (June 23).
Filmmaker Andre Theelen has made a short documentary on creation of the LEGO Turing Machine.
"Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician who helped define the theoretical model of the computer as we know it today," said Theelen.
"He was a visionary, one of the few people of his time who recognised the role the computer would play for humanity.
"The Turing Machine (1936) is an adequate model of a computer. It can do anything the computers of today or tomorrow can do."