Turing and the Uncomputable

Algis Valiunas at The New Atlantis:

The integrity of his understanding mattered immensely to the emerging mathematician. Even as an undergraduate Turing was known for remaining oblivious of the published literature and figuring out his own method of conceiving proofs. After faltering academically in the early going, he demonstrated his supreme competence in his final exams in 1934, being designated a B-star Wrangler — Cantabrigian parlance for a hotshot. In 1935 he presented a dissertation, “On the Gaussian Error Function.” In it he included his proof of the central limit theorem, which explained the way measurements fall into place to produce the statistical bell curve. Although someone else had already proved the theorem more than a decade before, Turing’s version was sufficiently novel and elegant to impress the authorities, and King’s named him a Fellow at the startling age of twenty-two. Admirers celebrated his achievement with an ambiguous morsel of verse: “Turing / Must have been alluring / To get made a don / So early on.”

more here.