Alan Turing

By Abigail .T.

An Introduction

Alan Turing was a WWII code breaker and English mathematician. He was born on 23rd June 1912 in London and died on 7th June 1954 at the age of 41. Alan is thought to be the father of modern computers and is most well known for making the bombe that famously cracked the enigma code.

Early Life and Education

Alan Turing's father was part of the Indian Civil Service and his parents lived in India until his father retired in 1926. He studied mathematics in Cambridge University where he developed the proof that shows automatic computation cannot solve all mathematical problems. This concept, which is known as Turing Machine, is considered the basis of modern technology.

In 1936, Turing went to Princeton University in America and then returned to England in 1938.

His Work During The War

In 1938, Alan Turing bean to work secretly part time for the British cryptanalytic department, the Government code and decipher school. At the outbreak of war, he began to work full time at the headquarters of the decipher school called Bletchley Park. he was head of Hut 8 for some time.Between 4 September 1939 and the summer of 1944, Alan Turing lodged at The Crown Inn, at Shenley Brook End, a village to the west of Bletchley. At Bletchley Park, he played a vital part in deciphering the messages encrypted by the Enigma Machine.
This is the Crown Inn where Alan Turing lodged:

The Enigma Machine

The Enigma Machine was a German way of enciphering codes that were almost impossible to decipher by British code crackers. It was based on rotors that produced an ever rotating alphabet. Each letter that was tapped on the keyboard would actually print a different letter and the rotors would be reset so that even you pressed a double letter, the code would never have double letters.

The Bombe

The Bombe was the machine that Alan Turing made that finally cracked the Enigma code. Alan Turing is said to be the father of the British Bombe but he was helped by Gordon Welchman. Alan Turing lead the team that built the Bombe. It is said to be based on the Bomba which is a machine developed by Polish mathematicians.
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‘We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.’ - Alan Turing

After The War

After the war, Alan Turing turned his thoughts to the development of a machine that would logically process information - the basics of a computer. At first, he worked for the National Park Laboratory but his colleagues there dismissed his ideas and therefore missed out on being the first lab to design a digital computer.

In 1949, he went to Manchester University where he developed a body of work that helped to form the basis of artificial intelligence.


In 1952, Alan Turing was arrested for being a homosexual which was a criminal offense at the time. He lost his job for being a homosexual. Alan Turing avoided going to prison be accepted injections of a drug oestrogen for a year. This was meant to stop him being homosexual.


On 7th June 1954, Alan Turing committed suicide by eating an apple covered in a poisonous substance called cyanide.

Alan Turing Remembered

there is a new film that has just been released into the cinema about Alan Turing called The Imitation Game. In the Imitation Game Benedict Cumberbatch. This film means that Alan Turing's legacy will go on forever and his life and incredible works will always be remembered.
The Imitation Game - Official Trailer - The Weinstein Company
‘The original question, “Can machines think?’’ I believe to be too meaningless to deserve discussion.’ - Alan Turing