Susan Stepneyby Susan Stepney

The mathematician Stanislaw Ulam is famously quoted as saying that using a term like nonlinear science is like referring to the bulk of zoology as the study of non-elephant animals (Campbell, Farmer, Crutchfield, Jen. "Experimental Mathematics: the role of computation in nonlinear science". Comms.ACM 28(4):374-84, 1985). Unconventional, or non-classical, computation is a similar term: the study of non-Turing computation. But how big is its associated field? Whereas zoology has the advantage of studying many kinds of non-elephants, non-classical computer scientists are currently restricted to studying a few relatively primitive, or dimly seen, or merely hypothesised, devices.

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