## $25,000 Prize for Turing Machine Proof

**Posted on Thursday, Jun 14th, 2007 at 8:02 AM**

The website of Stephen Wolfram, wolframscience.com is offering a $25,000 prize for a proof stating that a 2,3 Turing machine is universal.

*Turing machines are extremely basic abstract symbol-manipulating devices which, despite their simplicity, can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer that could possibly be constructed. They were described in 1936 by Alan Turing. Though they were intended to be technically feasible, Turing machines were not meant to be a practical computing technology, but a thought experiment about the limits of mechanical computation; thus they were not actually constructed. Studying their abstract properties yields many insights into computer science and complexity theory. (From Wikipedia)*

A Turing machine is *universal* if it can run any sequence of instructions. Turing machines were invented 1936 by Alan Turin, a British mathematician and cryptologist who would later help break the Enigma Cipher.