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Turing Tar-Pits

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Last session of term

Back in the foggy dawn of computer science it was believed that if we could develop minimalistic models of computation we could understand much more about computability. Obviously this is not the case, so we are left with some very confusing systems.

This talk covers a few of those systems and the programming languages they spawned: brainfuck, Lazy K and BCP . The talk will also cover other esoteric langauges: Conway’s Game of Life and Bitwise Cyclic Tag, with a few honourable mentions that fail to be Turing tar-pits (Whitespace and Ndef to name two).

The talk will give an overview of each language and computational model introduced, attempting for each to show how it works, how it’s weird, and why it exists.

This talk is an introduction to the world of esoteric languages, beginning with those special ones for which anything is possible but nothing is easy.

This talk is part of the Churchill CompSci Talks series.

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