June 23, 2012

Alan Turing Facts: Computing Achievements & Tragic Death

Alan Turing, who is also known as the founder of computer science. Born in London on 23 June, 1912, Alan Turing would have turned 100 today. Even from from a very early age Turing showed deep interest toward science and mathematics. As he grew, Turing showed exceptional ability in solving advanced problems. Below are some facts about Alan Turing's vast work and achievements in science & computing

Alan Turing Science & Computing Achievements and Contributions
  • Turing was the first to do the difficult work of mapping out the physics of how the digital universe would operate. And he did it using a single (theoretical) strip of infinite tape. His 1936 paper described what would later become known as the Turing Machine, or a-machine as he called it. In the paper, he described a theoretical operation that used an infinitely long piece of tape containing a series of symbols. A machine head could read the symbols on the tape as well as add its own symbols. It could move about to different parts of the tape, one symbol at a time.
  • In 1946, Alan Turing presented a paper which is known as the first elaborate design of a stored-program computer. 
  • Turing's contribution in mathematics and 'Computing machinery and intelligence' are still considered to be significant work. 
  • In Manchester, ahead of his 100th birthday, to pay tribute to this codebreaking genius an award has been named after Alan Turing for people who makes significant contribution to help victims of homophobia. The award will be conferred as part of the Lesbian and Gay Foundation's annual Homo Heroes Awards.
  • During World War II, he was instrumental in cracking German encrypted messages, allowing the British to anticipate Germany's actions and ultimately help win the war. 
  • Using his mathematical chops, Turing also developed ideas in the field of non-linear biological theory, which paved the way for chaos and complexity theories. 
  • But it may be computer science where his legacy will be the most strongly felt. Last week, the Association of Computing Machinery held a two-day celebration of Turing, with the computer field's biggest luminaries -- Vint Cerf, Ken Thompson, Alan C. Key -- paying tribute to the man and his work.
  • He was appointed Reader in the Mathematics Department at the University of Manchester in 1948. 
Facts and Video on Alan Turing's Tragic Death
He is known for his sad demise, an apparent suicide after being persecuted by the British government for his homosexuality.
  • Turing was convicted of his homosexual actions as criminal act in the United Kingdom in 1952. 
  • After two years of conviction on 8 June, 1954 he was reported dead due to cyanide poisoning which was believed to be a suicide.
  • In 2009, after a campaign the then prime minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown issued an apology for Turing's treatment on behalf of the British government.


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