Alan Mathison Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) in Maide Vale, London, England, was a mathematician and computer researcher, and a British war hero.
He was one of the first modern digital computer researchers. In addition he was the first to think of using computers for various purposes. He said that computers can run various programs. He also gave the idea of a Turing machine, a machine that could execute a set of commands. Turing also coined the Turing test. His name is immortalized in the name of the Turing Prize.
In 1936, he continued his studies at Princeton University in the United States and then returned to England in 1938. There, he began working in secret as a part-timer for the British Department of Cryptoanalysis, Government Code and the Cypher School. At the outbreak of World War II, he took a full-time job at its headquarters, Bletchley Park.
Here he played a key role in deciphering messages encrypted by the German enigma machine, which provided vital intelligence for the allies. He led a team that designed a machine known as the bombe that decoded German messages. From then on, he became a well-known and somewhat eccentric figure at Bletchley.
After World War II ended, he changed his mind to develop machines that would logically process information. He worked first for the National Physical Laboratory (1945-1948). His plan was rejected by his colleagues and the laboratory proposed for the project lost out to be the first to design a digital computer.
In 1949, he went to Manchester University where he led a computational laboratory and developed a machine that helped to form the foundations of the field of artificial intelligence. In 1951 he was elected a member of the Royal Society.
Alan Turing's Law
In 1952, Turing was arrested and tried for the crime of homosexuality. To avoid prison, he received a year's worth of estrogen injections, which were meant to neutralize his libido. In those days, homosexuals were considered a security risk because they were open to blackmail. Turing's security clearance was withdrawn, meaning he could no longer work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park. This led him to commit suicide on June 7, 1954.
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Copeland, B. Jack (ed.). "The Mind and the Computing Machine: Alan Turing and others". The Rutherford Journal.
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Hodges, Andrew (27 August 2007). "Alan Turing". In Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2009 ed.). Stanford University. Retrieved January 10, 2011. CS1 maintenance: Additional text: editors list (link)
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Copeland, B. Jack; Bowen, Jonathan P.; Wilson, Robin; Sprevak, Mark (2017). The Turing Guide. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198747833.
Hodges, Andrew (2014). Alan Turing: The Enigma. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691164724. (originally published in 1983); base of the film The Imitation Game
Dyson, George (2012). Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe. Vintage. ISBN 978-1400075997.
Gleick, James (2011). The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. New York: Pantheon. ISBN 978-0-375-42372-7.