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Presentation: "Impossible Programs"

Track: Everything you wanted to know about CS (but were afraid to ask) / Time: Wednesday 16:50 - 17:40 / Location: Fleming

Every aspect of our lives has been transformed by the invention of general-purpose programmable computers. As a result, it's tempting to believe that computers can solve any logical or mathematical problem; that if we throw enough time, money and nerds at a question, we can produce a program which answers it.

Unfortunately the universe is never that convenient. There are hard theoretical limits on what programs are capable of doing, and there will always be easily-stated problems which are impossible for any computer to solve.

This talk uses code to tell a nail-biting, maths-free story about the source of a computer's power, the inevitable drawbacks of that power, and the impossible programs which lie at the heart of uncomputability.

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Tom Stuart, Computer Scientist, Consultant, Mentor & Trainer

Tom Stuart

Biography: Tom Stuart

Tom is a computer scientist and programmer. He works as a consultant, mentor and trainer, helping companies to improve the quality and clarity of their approach to creating software products, usually on the web. He has lectured on optimising compilers at the University of Cambridge, co-organises the Ruby Manor conference, and is a member of the London Ruby User Group. His latest book, Understanding Computation, was published by O'Reilly in 2013.

Twitter: @tomstuart