Alan Turing

Who is he?


Alan Mathison Turing born on the 23 June 1912 in Paddington London to 7 June 1954 by suicide by cyanide poisoning aged 41. He was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, giving a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

The British government arrested Alan Turing because he was gay.

As a gay man he was convicted and branded a criminal, as a gay man he lost his security clearance that allowed him to provide us with his brilliant work, and as a gay man he was chemically castrated. He endured, but his writings showed a man who hated what had happened to him, until he finally committed suicide.

In the war

During world war 2, Turing worked for the Government code and cypher school (GCCS) at Bletchley park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

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