10 Interesting Facts about Alan Turing

One of these following facts about Alan Turing should give you much information about this figure. Alan Turing was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Furthermore, to get to know more about him, here are some other facts about Alan Turing you might be interested in.

Facts about Alan Turing 1: Homosexuality

Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalized in the UK. He accepted treatment with estrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison

Facts about Alan Turing 2: Denial

Turing’s natural inclination toward mathematics and science did not earn him respect from some of the teachers at Sherborne, whose definition of education placed more emphasis on the classics.

Facts about Alan Turing - Alan Turing Building
Facts about Alan Turing – Alan Turing Building

Facts about Alan Turing 3: First-class Honors in Mathematics

After Sherborne, Turing studied as an undergraduate from 1931 to 1934 at King’s College, Cambridge, from where he gained first-class honours in mathematics.

Facts about Alan Turing 4: Turing-Welchman Bombe

Within weeks of arriving at Bletchley Park,Turing had specified an electromechanical machine that could help break Enigma more effectively than the Polish bomba kryptologiczna, from which its name was derived. The bombe, with an enhancement suggested by mathematician Gordon Welchman, became one of the primary tools, and the major automated one, used to attack Enigma-enciphered messages.

Facts about Alan Turing - Blue plaque
Facts about Alan Turing – Blue plaque

Facts about Alan Turing 5: Turingery

In July 1942, Turing devised a technique termed Turingery for use against the Lorenz Cipher messages produced by the Germans’ new secret-writer machine. This was a teleprinter rotor cipher attachment codenamed Tunny at Bletchley Park. Turingery was a method of wheel-breaking, i.e. a procedure for working out the cam settings of Tunny’s wheels

Facts about Alan Turing 6: Death

On 8 June 1954, Turing’s cleaner found him dead. He had died the previous day. A post-mortem examination established that the cause of death was cyanide poisoning. When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and although the apple was not tested for cyanide.

Facts about Alan Turing - Sackville Turing plaque
Facts about Alan Turing – Sackville Turing plaque

Facts about Alan Turing 7: Tributes

Since 1966, the Turing Award has been given annually by the Association for Computing Machinery for technical or theoretical contributions to the computing community. It is widely considered to be the computing world’s highest honour, equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Facts about Alan Turing 8: Government Apology

In August 2009, John Graham-Cumming started a petition urging the British Government to apologise for Turing’s prosecution as a homosexual.The petition received thousands of signatures.Prime Minister Gordon Brown acknowledged the petition, releasing a statement on 10 September 2009 apologising and describing the treatment of Turing as “appalling”.

Facts about Alan Turing - Statue
Facts about Alan Turing – Statue

Facts about Alan Turing 9: Celebration

To mark the 100th anniversary of Turing’s birth, the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee (TCAC) co-ordinated the Alan Turing Year, a year-long programme of events around the world honouring Turing’s life and achievements.

Facts about Alan Turing 10: Adaptation

Turing was portrayed by Derek Jacobi in the 1996 television movie Breaking the Code. The drama-documentary Codebreaker, about Turing’s life, was aired by UK’s Channel 4 in 2011 and was released in the US in October 2012. The film features Ed Stoppard as Turing and Henry Goodman as Franz Greenbaum.

Facts about Alan Turing - Work replica
Facts about Alan Turing – Work replica

Hope you would like those Alan Turing facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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