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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Alan Turing : A Hero

Tribute to this great hero of Computer science on his 100th Birthday
alan turing
Alan Turing
Alan Turing was an English mathematician, wartime code-breaker and pioneer of computer science. Alan Turing was best-known for helping decipher the code created by German Enigma machines in the Second World War, and for being one of the founders of computer science and artificial intelligence

Alan Turing was born on 23 June, 1912, in London. His father was in the Indian Civil Service and Turing's parents lived in INDIA until his father's retirement in 1926. Turing and his brother stayed with friends and relatives in England. Turing studied mathematics at Cambridge University.

Alan's house declared as 
Heritage of UK
Alan Turing’s life  cycle
·                     1912  Alan Mathison Turing born in Maida Vale, London, to Ethel Sara Turing (nee Stoney) and Julius Mathison Turing.
·                     1927-30  Alan furthers his love of science and maths by reading Einstein whilst at Sherborne. His great friend, Christopher Morcom, who shares his interests, suddenly dies. Alan is devastated.
·                     1934    Alan graduates with distinction in Mathematics from King's College, Cambridge.
·                     1938    Alan goes to Princeton University in America to study mathematics and is awarded a PhD.
Board outside the 
Alan turing's house
·                     1939    September - Alan is asked to join the Government Codes and Ciphers School and arrives at Bletchley Park the day after war is declared.
·                      1940   With Gordon Welchman, Alan develops the Bombe to decipher the messages sent by the Germans using their Enigma machine.
·                     1943-45  Alan works with top people in the USA, which he visits to share information on code breaking.
·                     1945    At the end of the war, Alan Turing is awarded the OBE for his wartime services.
·                     1946    Alan publishes a paper with the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.
·                     1949    Alan is made deputy director of the Computing Laboratory at Manchester University.
·                     1950    Alan publishes the famous paper 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' in which he develops the Turing Test.
·                     1951    Alan is elected Fellow of the Royal Society, and also gives talks about Artificial Intelligence on the BBC.
·                     1952    Turing was arrested and tried for homosexuality, then a criminal offence. To avoid prison, he accepted injections of oestrogen for a year, which were intended to neutralise his libido. In that era, homosexuals were considered a security risk as they were open to blackmail. Turing's security clearance was withdrawn, meaning he could no longer work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park.
·                     1954 ,7 june    Alan dies in his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, from poisoning. A half-eaten apple was found next to him laced with cyanide.
·                     1986    A play, Breaking the Code, about Alan's life and work opens in the West End with Derek Jacobi playing Alan.
·                     2007    A slate sculpture of Turing is unveiled at Bletchley Park.
·                     2009    Thousands of people sign a petition. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown makes a public apology saying the treatment of Alan Turing was "appalling".

“Machines take me by surprise with great frequency!”
Alan Turing

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