Alan Turning

The computer scientist

Key events in his life

Alan Turning was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and a theoretical biologist. Alan was the founder of modern computing. In 1936, Turning published a paper thai is now recognised as the foundation of computer science. Turing analysed what it meant for a human to follow a definite method or procedure to perform a task. For this purpose , he invented the idea of a 'Universal Machine' that could decode and perform a set of instructions. Ten years later he would turn his revolutionary idea into a practical plan for an electronic computer, capable of running any program.

During the second world war, using his device, he decoded the German signals and listened to what they had said using the code. He told everyone where the nazis were going to bomb Britain. Luckily, the soldiers stopped the nazis from doing so. He had saved millions of lives because of his invention!

In March 1946, Alan Turning designs a first electronic computer. This was a digital computer in modern sense, storing programs in its memory. His report emphasised the unlimited range of applications opened up by this technological revolution and software developments.

In June 1954, Alan Turning was found dead in bed by his cleaner. He had died from cyanide poisoning the day before. a partly eaten apple lay next to his body.

in December 2013, Alan Turning was granted a posthumous royal pardon, formally cancelling his criminal conviction.

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