A 15-year-old, a nine-year-old and an 18-year-old have won the Science and
Technology Ministry’s competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of
Alan Turing, the British “father of the computer.”
The three winners
managed to find the longest computer codes about Turing in a code written by
scientists at Tel Aviv University. On Thursday they were each awarded a computer
tablet by Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Herschkowitz.
code was hidden in 500 million binary digits prepared by Prof. Nahum Dershowitz
and Prof. Lior Wolf.
More than 30,000 youngsters viewed the website, and
350 entered the competition.
The first prize was won by Itai Naor, 15, of
Pardes Hanna, who located a 31- digit computer code. He studies advanced physics
and computer sciences at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa
and is also taking math courses at the Open University.
winner Almog Vlad, 9, of Petah Tikva found a 30-digit code. He studies in a
class for gifted children and blogs about his experiences.
was taken by Adar Zeitek, 18, of Rehovot, who found a 29-digit code.
started his studies for a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computers as part
of the IDF’s educational program at Tel Aviv University.
well-known mathematician and an expert in computer codes, said the field is
integral to the protection of cyberspace. Beyond the scientific and
technological challenge of the competition, he said, the aim was to expose young
people to Turing’s accomplishments.
Turing was a mathematical genius who
set down the basis for computer sciences and was the first to deal with the
question of whether machines can think. He is to computer sciences, philosophy
and mathematics what Einstein and Darwin were to their fields, Herschkowitz
Turing also contributed greatly to the Allied victory in World War
II by cracking the German’s “Enigma” code machine, but received no recognition
during his lifetime.