The man behind the Turing machine
A brilliant mathematician, whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war, horrifying that he was treated so inhumanely... Alan Turing was a pioneering computer scientist who created the concepts of algorithms and computation. Winston Churchill said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.
Turing studied as an undergraduate from 1931 to 1934 at King's College, Cambridge, from which he gained first-class honours in mathematics. A German mathematician created a problem called entscheidungsproblem which Alan Turing then reformulated into simple hypothetical devices called Turing machines. These could calculate anything calculable. He used these hypotheses to crack codes in the second world war which saved more lives than any other person by cracking the code known as enigma.
Alan Turing: Great Minds
After enigma became insecure, the Germans created a new and more secure cipher code- named tunny by the British code-breakers at Bletchley Park. After a years struggle with the new codes being intercepted, the British created the first digital computer in the world. This computer, called Colossus, led the attack on these codes and saved an incalculable amount of lives. Colossus was an apt name as the colossi took up a whole room each and by 1943, 10 working Colossi were created and breaking tunny. Thomas Flowers, the man who created colossus, never got the recognition that he deserved as he died in 1998 and the 'first digital computer' was credited to an american mathematician. He was never credited because his operation was entirely classified. Now, Bletchley park is reassembling a colossus and giving Tom Flowers the recognition that he lacked.