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Alan Turing

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Alan Turing was a Cambridge mathematician who published a paper in 1936 �On Computable numbers� which was the theoretical basis for the computer that we use today. Aided by Gordon Welchman he designed the Bombe to speed up the code breaking process. This was a more sophisticated version of the Bomba produced by the Poles. He is recognised today as a Hero, Great Mathematician, Philospher, Code-breaker, Visionary and the Founder of Computer Science.

Discover the life of a hero:

23rd June 1912:
- Alan Mathison Turing was born in Paddington, London, in a nursing home.

- He was from an middle class family and was the second child of Julius Mathison and Ethel Sara Turing. He had an elder brother John.

1926 - 1931:
- At the age of 14, Alan attended a public school, the Sherbourne school, where he followed a traditional curriculum.

- At the age of 16, he discovered the works of the scientist Einstein.

1931 � 1934:
- Alan Turing attended Kings College, Cambridge, after failing to win a scholarship of his first choice; Trinity College, Cambridge.

- He graduated in 1934, with a distinction in Maths.

1935:
- He was elected a fellow of Kings College, following his dissertation on Central Limit Theorem.

28th May 1936:
- Alan Turing wrote his first paper "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem". In it he provided a definition of computation, which is believed to be the foundation of modern computer science.

1937 - 1938:
- He travelled to America to study at Princeton University under the American logician; Alonzo Church, who specialised in more advanced work in Logic and Mathematics.

1939:
- Alan Turing received his PhD from Princeton in 1938 and then returned to Britain where he joined the war effort.

1939 � 1945:
- Alan worked on mastering the German enciphering machine �Enigma� at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. Bletchley Park was the wartime Communications Headquarters for Britain. Turing became very important after making a great contribution to the decryption of the Enigma and the Lorenz SZ 40/42.

- He was appointed as the head of �hut 8� for a time. Hut 8 was the section responsible for reading German naval signals. It was during this period that Alan Turing invented a statistical technique named �Banburismus� which would eventually enable him to break the Naval Enigma.

- Turing proposed marriage to his co-worker Joan Clarke in the Spring of 1941, but unfortunately by the summer of 1941, their engagement had been broken off.

- In November 1942, Turing travelled to the United States where he worked on Naval Enigma with Naval cryptanalysts.

- In March 1943, Alan returned to Bletchley Park where he became a consultant for cryptanalysis. His achievements were shrouded in secrecy.

- Alan Turing was awarded an OBE for his wartime services in 1945.

- He was a powerful marathon runner and nearly qualified for the British Olympic team in 1948.

1948 - 1950:
- Alan Turing worked on the design of ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) at the National Physical Laboratory between the years of 1945 - 1947.

- On the 19th February 1946, he wrote a paper which was the first, in Britain, of a stored program computer.

- During this time, Alan Turing moved to Manchester University to pioneer development of the computer and began writing his second paper; �Computing Machinery and Intelligence�

- In 1949, at Manchester University he was appointed deputy director of the Computing laboratory.

- In 1950, Turing wrote; �Computer Machinery and Intelligence�. This paper discussed the theory of artificial intelligence and introduced an experiment, now known as the �Turing test�.

1952 - 1954:
- The last couple of years before his death, Alan Turing concentrated on Morphogenesis and published a paper in 1952 named �The chemical basis of Morphogenesis�.

7th June 1954:
- Turing died of cyanide poisoning and was found by his cleaner the next day.

- It is believed he ate an apple laced with cyanide and this was confirmed by a post mortem examination.

- There were many who believe that Alan was assassinated or died accidentally, however the coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.

- Alan Turing was cremated on 12th June 1954 at Woking Crematorium.

Added:
30th Mar 2008 by Abdallah Abdullah

Subjects:
History, ICT, Mathematics, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

Keywords:
WWII, Station X, Code, Cypher, Enigma, Bombe, Turing, Computer Science

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