Video: George Dyson “The First Five Kilobytes are the Hardest: Alan Turing, John von Neumann, and the Origins of the Digital Universe”

George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe (Pantheon, 2012), discusses the role of the Institute for Advanced Study’s Electronic Computer Project as modern stored-program computers were developed after WWII. The Institute is a private, independent academic institution located in Princeton, New Jersey.

It was founded in 1930 by philanthropists Louis Bamberger and his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld, and established through the vision of founding Director Abraham Flexner. Past Faculty have included Albert Einstein, who remained at the Institute until his death in 1955, and distinguished scientists and scholars such as Kurt GödelJ. Robert OppenheimerErwin PanofskyHetty Goldman, Homer A. Thompson, John von NeumannGeorge KennanHermann Weyl, and Clifford Geertz.

“Turing’s one-dimensional model of universal computation led directly to von Neumann’s two-dimensional implementation, and the world has never been the same since.”

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 8.54.35 AM