created by

Chris Fleming

Alan Turing

* 23. Juni 1912 in London, today United Kingdom

† 7. Juni 1954 in Cheshire, today United Kingdom

Alan Turing was a British logician, mathematician, cryptoanalyst, and computer scientist. He is one of the most influential theorists of early computer development and computer science. His theories, along with his Turing Machine which he developed, laid the foundation for the computer age.

Alan Turing was an essential contributor to the decoding of the so-called Enigma machine. The coded radio messages of the German National Socialists could thus be deciphered. This had a major impact on the end of the Second World War.

Turing’s work on the concept of artificial intelligence is still important today.

The mathematician made a secret of his homosexuality, because same sex relationships were at that time still being prosecuted in the United Kingdom. This made him vulnerable to blackmailing. In spite of his great service, Turing was charged with „gross indecency and sexual perversion“ in 1952. The court sentenced Turing – who wanted to escape a prison sentence – to chemical castration.

The treatment affected the mathematician not just physically, but also psychologically. Plagued by depression, Turing eventually decided to commit suicide. In 2013, due to growing public pressure, Queen Elizabeth II finally pardoned Turing posthumously.

The life of Alan Turing was the inspiration for the 2014 movie The Imitation Game.

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