Family

Born: June 23rd, 1912 in London

Turing: the Mathematician & Computer Scientist

Conviction

**Computer Scientist, Mathematician, Logician, Cryptanalyst, Mathematical Biologist and Marathoner**

**Alan Mathison Turing**

Family: His father was an official in the East India Company and his mother was the daughter of the Chief Engineer of the Madras Railways. Alan Turing also had an older brother: John Turing.

Education

At the age of 13, Turing went to

Sherborne

School

, a well known independent school.

The first day of the term coincided with the 1926 General Strike in Britain, but he was so determined to attend that he rode his bicycle alone more than

97 km

from Southampton to Sherborne.

At Sherborne, Turing formed an important friendship with fellow pupil

Christopher Morcom

. Their relationship provided inspiration in Turing's future endeavours and Morcom's death in early 1930 shattered Turing's religious faith, causing him to become an

atheist

.

Turing was also severely

bullied

: in one instance he was trapped under the floorboards of a classroom by some classmates.

After graduating from Sherborne School, Turing studied at

King's College, Cambridge

and later obtained a PhD from

Princeton University

.

The Enigma

Turing the Ultra Distance Runner

Turing was a talented long-distance runner; he occasionally ran the

64 km

from Bletchley Park to London. He was capable of world-class marathon standards and when he tried out for the 1948 British

Olympic team

, he almost made it (he was hampered by an injury). His tryout time for the marathon was only 11 minutes slower than the British silver medalist, Thomas Richard's Olympic race time.

Death

In January 1952, Turing was charged with "

gross indecency

" because of his sexual orientation which was not socialy accepted in Britain at the time.

Turing was convicted and given a choice between imprisonment and

hormonal treatment

. Turing accepted the hormonal treatment which made him weak and led to a general decline in his physical and mental health.

On

June 8th 1954

, Turing's housekeeper found him dead. He had died the previous day. A post-mortem showed that the cause of death was

cyanide

poisoning. When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and it was speculated that the fatal dose of cyanide was consumed through it. An inquiry determined that Alan Turing had committed

suicide

.

Alan Turing, the man who may have saved the world from Nazi rule and made enormous contributions to human knowledge, was unjustly driven into the ground due to the unjust British laws.

Recognintion After Death

Since 1966, the "

Turing Award

" has been awarded for major contributions to the computing community. It is widely considered to be the computing world's highest honour, equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

In 2013 Queen Elizabeth II granted Alan Turing a

posthumous pardon

.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement in 2009 apologising and describing the treatment of Turing as "appalling."

Since his death Turing has been given numerous awards and civilian honors. Universities across the globe have buildings named after Alan Turing.

“Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine.”

― Alan Turing: War Hero, Genius, Philosopher

IGCSE 10A

The

Enigma Machine

was a cipher machine used by the

Nazis

during

WWII

. During the war, cryptologists at

Bletchley Park

, a British facility, attempted to crack the code; a task that was considered impossible by most.

Sherborne School

College

Breaking the code

Alan Turing created an

electromechanical device

called a

bombe

that could decrypt Enigma messages. He used several methods to reduce the time it would take his machine to loop through the huge number of possible Enigma settings. He recognised that the Germans repeated some phrases in many of their messages and he was able to use this to find the correct enigma setting faster. One such phrase was "Hail Hitler."

Turing led the design work for the

Automatic Computing Engine or ACE

and ultimately created a groundbreaking blueprint for store-program computers.

Turing went on to hold high-ranking positions in the mathematics department and later the computing laboratory at the

University of Manchester

in the late 1940s.

He first addressed the issue of

artificial intelligence

in his 1950 paper, "Computing machinery and intelligence," and proposed an experiment known as the “

Turing Test

”—a test to differenciate between human and a robot.

Turing designed an abstract computing device known as the

Turing machine

— which could perform calculations and follow instructions. This breakthrough enabled Turing to answer an important question that was bugging mathematicians at the time: is there an algorithm that can decide whether any other algorithm will eventually halt, or whether it will run forever.

Enigma Machine

In addition, he developed the "Turing Test", which set the standards for measuring how smart any AI is.