Alan Turing

Alan Turing is one of the few people in history to invent a wholly new spiritual idea. As such, he has unquestionably been one of the most influential figures of the last century, and there is no doubt that he will remain so in the future. He is often described as the “father of computer science” and his enduring legacy is recognized with the Turing Award, the Nobel prize of computer science.

If you don’t know much about Turing, saying that he’s well worth a Google search is a massive understatement. The founder of modern computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing was also an acclaimed mathematician, celebrated World War II British codebreaker, philosopher, logician and a persecuted gay man who faced either prison or chemical castration for his lifestyle “crimes.” He committed suicide in 1954 but his vision and legacy far outstripped his own life.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Music

and Computer Science program is hosting acclaimed

Jaron Lanier

futurist Jaron Lanier for a special appreciation of Turing’s Spiritual Legacy. Lanier—a computer scientist, composer, visual artist and influential author who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010—is also famed for coining or popularizing the term “virtual reality.” He founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products, in the early ’80s and his book You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto was released in 2010.

Lanier’s lecture will offer an appreciation of Turing, as well as a criticism of intellectual and economic events that have been influenced by him. The lecture begins at 8:15pm on Wednesday, November 7, in the School of Music’s Phillip T Young Recital Hall.

But if you’re interested in some of the results that emerged from Turing’s life and works, be sure to catch some of these other lectures on view next week. All are offered by the Music and Computer Science program and all are free.

• David Jaffe (Universal Audio) on “The Library of Babel: Composing, Computing and Creativity.” Jaffe is a musical and technical innovator who developed music software for Steve Jobs at the NeXT computer, co-founded Staccato Systems and is now senior scientist and engineer at UA. Hear him 6:30pm Monday, November 5, in A120 of the Social Sciences and Math Bldg, and 2:30pm Tuesday, November 6, in A168 of the MacLaurin Building.

• Adam Tindale (OCAD U) on “Developing Tools for Contemporary Electronic Music Performance.” Tindale develops new interfaces for musical expression through a combination of physical modeling synthesis, machine listening and learning, and custom hardware development. Hear him at 1:30pm Thursday, November 8, in D114 of the MacLaurin Building, and 11:30am Friday, November 9, in B112 of the Cornett Building.

Soundplane Model A run 2

• Randy Jones (Madrona Labs) on “Soundplane Workshop.” Jones makes instruments and software for computer music performance, and has performed and lectured at festivals including Cimatics (Brussels), MUTEK (Montreal), the Festival de Música Electroacústica (Havana), Decibel (Seattle), and New Forms (Vancouver). He was a co-creator of Jitter, the graphics and matrix processing software, and completed a Masters in Computer Science at UVic in 2010. His talk will offer an informal, hands-on lab to explore the Soundplane and DIY capacitive sensing with Max/MSP. (Bring a vague idea, he’ll try to refine it. Bring a specific idea, he’ll make a patch and move it in the direction of a performance.) Hear him at 3:30pm Thursday, November 8, in D114 of the MacLaurin Building, and 2:30pm  Friday, November 9, in A168 of the MacLaurin Building.

All lectures are free and open to the public.