Alan Turing

Dr Alan Turing PhD OBE FRS is a person to respect.

A true genius, his work was pivotal in cracking German ciphers during WW2.

It is generally accepted that he killed himself in 1954 by eating an apple laced with cyanide because of a homophobic persecution. Alternative theories suggest his death was accidental or that he was murdered by security services as a security risk or by foreign agencies following a failed honey trap.

Apple's rainbow logo with a bite missing is said to honour him, though has never been publicly acknowledged. Steve Wozniak has said that, to his knowledge, Turing had nothing to do with the name that Steve Jobs came up with for the company (The Fifth Hope, keynote address).

He's the guy behind the TuringMachine, and he's TuringComplete. He probably would also pass the TuringTest, but you never know with these supergenius academic mathematician types. He was British and studied at Princeton for two years. He only wore sandals.

Alan Turing is the embodiment of computer science. (but see below)

If I had to name a patron spirit of computer science, I'd pick him.

But what about AlonzoChurch?

Turing was also a thoroughly practical man, and [may have] had a lot to do with the design of the hardware used at BletchleyPark and later, at ManchesterUniversity?, where, let there be no doubt about it, electronic computing as we understand it today was born. See

Oh yes, he was a superb athlete, too.

He wrote the programmer's manual for the Ferranti Mk I (aka the Manchester Electronic Computer Mark II): <>, which makes him a pioneering technical writer as well.

The post-war British government suppressed a lot of information about Turing and his collaborators, and destroyed a lot of the equipment, so they are only now receiving full credit for what they did.

-- KeithBraithwaite and anonymous contributors.

See also TommyFlowers

See the PBS video "Decoding Nazi Secrets" and learn about Turing and Tommy Flowers. Great video. Call 800-949-8670 or read the transcript at

CategoryPerson CategoryScientist

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