My Decoded Science series about Turing machines closes with "The Turing Machine versus the Decision Problem of Hilbert".

Picture
"David Hilbert" in a University of G├Âttingen faculty image in 1912.
Hilbert's "Decision Problem" asks whether a mathematical system can contain a process to decide whether a statement in that system can be proven.

Alan Turing proved that his "Turing machine" resolved Hilbert's question.

My article explains that resolution: can such a process exist, or is it impossible?


Promoting the Decision Problem

As always, my article is promoted in DeHaan Services ("Did the Turing Machine Decide Hilbert's Decision Problem?") and in my Xanga blog ("The Turing Machine Defeated the Decision Problem").

Today's Writing Tip

Today's writing tip has been mentioned before, but it is especially relevant to the end of my series about Turing machines.

Whether you write for a magazine or simply in your own blog, sometimes it's worthwhile to plan ahead and build a series of articles.

As a case in point, Alan Turing received a lot of publicity this year. I knew that there is a lot to say about the math involved in the Turing machine. Rather than try to cover too much material in one article, I deliberately started with an introduction, moved on to more elaborate capabilities of Turing machines, and ended with one article about the Halting Problem and finally the Decision Problem.

Consider this when you tackle a new topic. Almost any article needs an introduction, body and conclusion. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is there enough material to break into separate articles?
  • Can each article stand on its own, even if it needs a brief recap in the introduction?
  • What is the logical flow for these articles?
Typically, a series can flow chronologically, from the past to the present and future; from simple to complex; or from familiar to bizarre.

One of the great strengths of online writing is that you can hyperlink pages, so your readers can either retrace their steps or move forward smoothly.



Finally, always remember that some readers will pop into the middle of your series. Be sure to give them a link to the first article. This usually fits nicely into the introduction for each.

You're invited to see how I did it in the Turing machine series. It started with "A Brief Introduction to the Turing Machine".



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