In marking Alan Turing's centenary, it's worth asking what was his most fundamental achievement and what he left for future science to take up when he took his own life in 1954. His success in World War II, as the chief scientific figure in the British cryptographic effort, with hands-on responsibility for the Atlantic naval conflict, had a great and immediate impact. But in its ever-growing influence since that time, the principle of the universal machine, which Turing published in 1937, beats even this.
Beyond Turing's Machines
Science 13 April 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6078 pp. 163-164
Via Complexity Digest