Alan Turing’s Biographer On The Truth About The Troubled Genius And His Tragic Death

alan turing

Sixty years after his tragic death, the brilliant English mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) has come back to life, if only virtually, in the new movie The Imitation Game.

The movie spotlights Turing’s work as a codebreaker during World War II. That’s a logical choice given his success in cracking a key German naval code known as Enigma.

The feat, which is believed to have shortened the war by at least two years and saved millions of lives, led Winston Churchill to say that Turing had made the single biggest contribution to the Allied victory over the Nazis.

But if cracking Enigma was Turing’s most tangible achievement, his greatest scientific legacy is his earlier theoretical work in the field now known as computer science. So says Andrew Hodges (pictured above), the author of “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” the newly republished 1983 Turing biography on which The Imitation Game was based.

“The thing that really singles him out is his theoretical work in the 1930s, published at the end of 1936 [in his famous paper On Computable Numbers], in which he brought up this idea of the universal Turing machine,” Hodges says in a recent interview —> Read More Here


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