This model is called a Turing Machine, and it was invented and investigated by Alan Turing in the 1930's ... before we really had computers! Essentially, it is a finite automaton + an array. In particular:
Each transition is labeled with three things: the symbol you read, the symbol you write, and the tape head move you make ("L" for left, "R" for right, and "S" for stay). There is a special state called the "halt state", and after transitioning to that state, the computation stops. If you move left from the leftmost square of the tape, the Turing machine "crashes".
For this class we played with examples of such machines using JFLAP. Once we're familiar with them informally, we'll go back and give formal definitions.
" in the transitions stands for a blank.
This machine writes a blank no matter what it reads, and keeps moving right. When it reads the first blank (i.e. the end of the input) it halts. We specifically ran it in class on the input tape
Note: Please save each machine as a separate JFLAP file. You might need them later!