Alan Turing

Life of Alan Turing

General Info

Alan Mathison Turing was a British mathematician, logician, philosopher, computer scientist and mathematical biologist. He was a marathon runner too. He is one of the main reasons of the technology we have now.

Born: 23 Jun 1912 · London, United Kingdom

Died: 07 Jun 1954 · Wilmslow, United Kingdom

Turing was a wartime code-breaker and he was educated at Sherborne School in Dorset, Turing went up to King’s College, Cambridge in October 1931 to read Mathematics. He was elected a Fellow of King’s in March 1935, at the age of only 22. In the same year he invented the abstract computing machines – now known simply as Turing machines. He completed a PhD in mathematical logic under Church’s direction. At such a young age he had shown mathematical talent. Unfortunately, Turing committed suicide in 1954, by eating an apple containing cyanide.


The years from 1932 to 1935 were the foundation of Alan Turing's serious scientific life. The atmosphere at King's College, Cambridge, was highly conducive to free-ranging thought. As an undergraduate there, Alan Turing developed the inspiration he had received from Christopher Morocom. and combined it with the newest ideas in mathematics.

As an undergraduate, his main supervisor was the group theorist Philip Halls. His closest friends were fellow mathematics students David and James Atkins — who became his first continuing boyfriend. He went rowing, running, joined the Anti-War movement in 1933, and made visits to Germany. He was elected a Fellow in 1935. His childhood was spent in India as his father was an Indian Civil officer.

The Code Breaker and Inspirations

Alan Turing has been named as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. A Manchester road is named for him, as are many colleges.

He gave all his time for code breaking. He broke many of Germany's codes. He had many inspirations, he was inspired by Christopher Morocom, a friend. He, Christopher Morcom, gave Turing a vital period of intellectual companionship — which ended with Morcom's sudden death in February 1930. He was a great influence to Turing. Another influence was John Von Neuman.

Von Neumann pioneered game theory and, along with Alan Turing and Claude Shannon, was one of the conceptual inventors of the stored-program digital computer.

BBC History Alan Turing


Here are some famous Alan Turing facts:

‘Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.’ Alan Turing

‘We can only see a short distance ahead but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.’ Alan Turing

They are very inspirational quotes.

Alan Turing Biography