82 Facts About Alan Turing


Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist.


Alan Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.


Alan Turing graduated at King's College, Cambridge, with a degree in mathematics.


Alan Turing played a crucial role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Axis powers in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic.


In 1948, Alan Turing joined Max Newman's Computing Machine Laboratory, at the Victoria University of Manchester, where he helped develop the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology.


Alan Turing accepted hormone treatment with DES, a procedure commonly referred to as chemical castration, as an alternative to prison.


Alan Turing died on 7 June 1954,16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.


The term "Alan Turing law" is used informally to refer to a 2017 law in the United Kingdom that retroactively pardoned men cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts.


Alan Turing has an extensive legacy with statues of him and many things named after him, including an annual award for computer science innovations.


Alan Turing was born in Maida Vale, London, while his father, Julius Mathison Alan Turing was on leave from his position with the Indian Civil Service of the British Raj government at Chatrapur, then in the Madras Presidency and presently in Odisha state, in India.


However, both Julius and Ethel wanted their children to be brought up in Britain, so they moved to Maida Vale, London, where Alan Turing was born on 23 June 1912, as recorded by a blue plaque on the outside of the house of his birth, later the Colonnade Hotel.


At Hastings, Alan Turing stayed at Baston Lodge, Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards-on-Sea, now marked with a blue plaque.


Alan Turing's parents purchased a house in Guildford in 1927, and Turing lived there during school holidays.


Alan Turing's parents enrolled him at St Michael's, a primary school at 20 Charles Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, from the age of six to nine.


Between January 1922 and 1926, Alan Turing was educated at Hazelhurst Preparatory School, an independent school in the village of Frant in Sussex.


The first day of term coincided with the 1926 General Strike, in Britain, but Alan Turing was so determined to attend that he rode his bicycle unaccompanied 60 miles from Southampton to Sherborne, stopping overnight at an inn.


In 1928, aged 16, Alan Turing encountered Albert Einstein's work; not only did he grasp it, but it is possible that he managed to deduce Einstein's questioning of Newton's laws of motion from a text in which this was never made explicit.


At Sherborne, Alan Turing formed a significant friendship with fellow pupil Christopher Collan Morcom, who has been described as Alan Turing's "first love".


Alan Turing coped with his grief by working that much harder on the topics of science and mathematics that he had shared with Morcom.


Alan Turing's dissertation was finally accepted in 16 March 1935.


Later that year, Alan Turing was elected a Fellow of King's College on the strength of his dissertation.


Abram Besicovitch's report for the committee went so far as to say that if Alan Turing's work had been published before Lindeberg's, it would have been "an important event in the mathematical literature of that year".


Between the springs of 1935 and 1936, at the same time as Church, Alan Turing worked on the decidability of problems, starting from Godel's incompleteness theorems.


In mid-April 1936, Alan Turing sent Max Newman the first draft typescript of his investigations.


Alan Turing proved that his "universal computing machine" would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm.


Alan Turing went on to prove that there was no solution to the decision problem by first showing that the halting problem for Turing machines is undecidable: it is not possible to decide algorithmically whether a Turing machine will ever halt.


From September 1936 to July 1938, Alan Turing spent most of his time studying under Church at Princeton University, in the second year as a Jane Eliza Procter Visiting Fellow.


In June 1938, he obtained his PhD from the Department of Mathematics at Princeton; his dissertation, Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals, introduced the concept of ordinal logic and the notion of relative computing, in which Alan Turing machines are augmented with so-called oracles, allowing the study of problems that cannot be solved by Alan Turing machines.


From September 1938, Alan Turing worked part-time with the Government Code and Cypher School, the British codebreaking organisation.


Alan Turing's approach was more general, using crib-based decryption for which he produced the functional specification of the bombe.


Alan Turing was known to his colleagues as "Prof" and his treatise on Enigma was known as the "Prof's Book".


Alan Turing's bicycle had a fault: the chain would come off at regular intervals.


Alan Turing was such a genius, and those, like myself, who had the astonishing and unexpected opportunity, created by the strange exigencies of the Second World War, to be able to count Turing as colleague and friend will never forget that experience, nor can we ever lose its immense benefit to us.


Alan Turing tried out for the 1948 British Olympic team, but he was hampered by an injury.


Alan Turing was Walton Athletic Club's best runner, a fact discovered when he passed the group while running alone.


Alan Turing decided to tackle the particularly difficult problem of German naval Enigma "because no one else was doing anything about it and I could have it to myself".


In December 1939, Alan Turing solved the essential part of the naval indicator system, which was more complex than the indicator systems used by the other services.


Alan Turing travelled to the United States in November 1942 and worked with US Navy cryptanalysts on the naval Enigma and bombe construction in Washington; he visited their Computing Machine Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.


Alan Turing became a general consultant for cryptanalysis at Bletchley Park.


The pioneer's work always tends to be forgotten when experience and routine later make everything seem easy and many of us in Hut 8 felt that the magnitude of Alan Turing's contribution was never fully realised by the outside world.


Alan Turing introduced the Tunny team to Tommy Flowers who, under the guidance of Max Newman, went on to build the Colossus computer, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer, which replaced a simpler prior machine, and whose superior speed allowed the statistical decryption techniques to be applied usefully to the messages.


Some have mistakenly said that Alan Turing was a key figure in the design of the Colossus computer.


Alan Turing consulted with Bell Labs on the development of SIGSALY, a secure voice system that was used in the later years of the war.


Between 1945 and 1947, Alan Turing lived in Hampton, London, while he worked on the design of the ACE at the National Physical Laboratory.


Alan Turing presented a paper on 19 February 1946, which was the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.


The full version of Alan Turing's ACE was not built until after his death.


In 1948, Alan Turing was appointed reader in the Mathematics Department at the Victoria University of Manchester.


Alan Turing wrote the first version of the Programmer's Manual for this machine, and was recruited by Ferranti as a consultant in the development of their commercialised machine, the Ferranti Mark 1.


Alan Turing continued to be paid consultancy fees by Ferranti until his death.


Alan Turing's Turing test was a significant, characteristically provocative, and lasting contribution to the debate regarding artificial intelligence, which continues after more than half a century.


Alan Turing was interested in morphogenesis, the development of patterns and shapes in biological organisms.


Alan Turing used systems of partial differential equations to model catalytic chemical reactions.


One of the early applications of Alan Turing's paper was the work by James Murray explaining spots and stripes on the fur of cats, large and small.


In 1941, Alan Turing proposed marriage to Hut 8 colleague Joan Clarke, a fellow mathematician and cryptanalyst, but their engagement was short-lived.


In January 1952, Alan Turing was 39 when he started a relationship with Arnold Murray, a 19-year-old unemployed man.


Just before Christmas, Alan Turing was walking along Manchester's Oxford Road when he met Murray just outside the Regal Cinema and invited him to lunch.


Alan Turing was later convinced by the advice of his brother and his own solicitor, and he entered a plea of guilty.


Alan Turing was convicted and given a choice between imprisonment and probation.


Alan Turing accepted the option of injections of what was then called stilboestrol, a synthetic oestrogen; this feminization of his body was continued for the course of one year.


Alan Turing was denied entry into the United States after his conviction in 1952, but was free to visit other European countries.


On 8 June 1954, at his house at 43 Adlington Road, Wilmslow, Alan Turing's housekeeper found him dead.


Alan Turing had died the previous day at the age of 41.


When his body was discovered, an apple lay half-eaten beside his bed, and although the apple was not tested for cyanide, it was speculated that this was the means by which Alan Turing had consumed a fatal dose.


Andrew Hodges and another biographer, David Leavitt, have both speculated that Alan Turing was re-enacting a scene from the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, his favourite fairy tale.


Alan Turing's remains were cremated at Woking Crematorium on 12 June 1954, and his ashes were scattered in the gardens of the crematorium, just as his father's had been.


Alan Turing suggested an alternative explanation for the cause of Turing's death: the accidental inhalation of cyanide fumes from an apparatus used to electroplate gold onto spoons.


Alan Turing had such an apparatus set up in his tiny spare room.


Alan Turing habitually ate an apple before going to bed, and it was not unusual for the apple to be discarded half-eaten.


Furthermore, Alan Turing had reportedly borne his legal setbacks and hormone treatment "with good humour" and had shown no sign of despondency before his death.


Alan Turing even set down a list of tasks that he intended to complete upon returning to his office after the holiday weekend.


Alan Turing's mother believed that the ingestion was accidental, resulting from her son's careless storage of laboratory chemicals.


Biographer Andrew Hodges theorised that Alan Turing deliberately left the nature of his death ambiguous in order to shield his mother from the knowledge that he had killed himself.


In mid-May 1954, shortly before his death, Alan Turing again decided to consult a fortune-teller during a day-trip to St Annes-on-Sea with the Greenbaum family.


We found a fortune-teller's tent[,] and Alan Turing said he'd like to go in[,] so we waited around for him to come back.


Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he'd done so much to save.


Alan Turing would have known that his offence was against the law and that he would be prosecuted.


The Alan Turing law is an informal term for the law in the United Kingdom, contained in the Policing and Crime Act 2017, which serves as an amnesty law to retroactively pardon men who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts.


Alan Turing was appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1946.


Alan Turing was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951.


Alan Turing has been honoured in various ways in Manchester, the city where he worked towards the end of his life.


Alan Turing was selected as the new face of the note in 2019 following a public nomination process.


The TCAC, chaired by S Barry Cooper with Turing's nephew Sir John Dermot Turing acting as Honorary President, worked with the University of Manchester faculty members and a broad spectrum of people from Cambridge University and Bletchley Park.