Alan Turing
(1912-1954)

Died aged c. 42

Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (/ˈtjʊərɪŋ/; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was an English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic; it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over fourteen million lives. After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. In 1948 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. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, first observed in the 1960s. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behaviour was still a criminal act in the UK. He accepted treatment with DES (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as suicide, but it has been noted that the known evidence is equally consistent with accidental poisoning. In 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way he was treated." Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013.

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designer of The Bombe

Commemorated on 13 plaques

Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
David Anstiss on Geograph
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Colin Smith on Geograph
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Ctz on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Peter Hills on Flickr
Photo of The Bombe, Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, and Harold Keen red and black plaque
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Photo of Alan Turing brass plaque
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Photo of Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Tommy Flowers, The Bombe, and 3 other
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Diane Griffiths on Flickr
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Alan Turing blue plaque
Nick Harrison on Flickr
Photo of Alan Turing multicoloured plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons

Alan Turing 1912-1954 code-breaker and pioneer of computer science was born here

2 Warrington Cresent, Maida Vale, Westminster, W9, London, United Kingdom where he was born (1912)

Alan Turing 1912-1954 code breaker lived here from 1945-1947

78 High Street, Hampton, London, United Kingdom where he lived

Alan Turing 1912-1954 founder of computer science and cryptographer, whose work was key to breaking the wartime Enigma codes, lived and died here.

43 Adlington Road, Wilmslow, United Kingdom where he lived and died (1954)

The family home of Alan M. Turing (1912-1954) founder of computer science

22 Ennismore Avenue, Guildford, United Kingdom where he lived

Engineering Heritage Award The Bombe Bletchley Park Completed in 2007 using the original blueprints. An electromechanical device designed by A Turing, G Welchman and H Keen, used in cracking the German Enigma code during the Second World War. The 200 Bombes built by the British Tabulating Machine Company played a pivotal role in winning the war.

Block B - Bletchley Park , Bletchley, United Kingdom where he designed The Bombe

The Turing Bombe Rebuild Project Presented to John Harper MBCS, Chairman, Turing Bombe Rebuild Project Team, BCS Computer Conservation Society by John L Ivinson FBCS, President. In recognition of the outstanding work undertaken by the team. Presented at the BCS Specialist Groups Assembly, Bletchley Park 9th April 2003

Block B - Bletchley Park, Bletchley, United Kingdom where he originally designed

IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing Code-breaking at Bletchley Park during World War II, 1939-45. On this site during the 1939-45 World War, 12,000 men and women broke the German Lorenz and Enigma ciphers, as well as Japanese and Italian codes and ciphers. They used innovative mathematical analysis and were assisted by two computing machines developed here by teams led by Alan Turing: the electro-mathematical Bombe developed with Gordon Welchman, and the electronic Colossus designed by Tommy Flowers. These achievements greatly shortened the war, thereby saving countless lives.

Bletchley Park House, Bletchley Park, Bletchley, United Kingdom where he code-breaking assisted by two computing machines developed here by teams led by (1939-1945)

Alan Mathison Turing 1912-1954 a creator of computer science, code breaker and mathematician. Reader in Mathematics 1948-1954

Coupland Building 1, Coupland Street, M13 9PL, Manchester, United Kingdom where he was Reader in Mathematics (1948-1954)

Alan Turing 1912 - 1954 mathematician, computer pioneer and code breaker

King's College, Cambridge University, King's Parade, CB2 1ST, Cambridge, United Kingdom where he was

Alan Turing 1912-1954 founder of computer science and cryptographer, whose work was key to breaking the wartime Enigma codes, spent his childhood here.

Baston Lodge, 1 Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards-On-Sea, TN38 0LA, Hastings, United Kingdom where he lived

Alan Mathison Turing 1912-1954 A Creator of Computer Science, Code Breaker and Mathematician Reader in Mathematics 1948-1954

Coupland Street, Manchester, United Kingdom where he was

Alan Turing 1912-1954 code breaker and pioneer of computer science boarded here 1926-1931

Westcott House on Horsecastles, Sherborne, United Kingdom where he was

Alan Turing Code Breaker & Pioneer of Computer Science Love Lived Here 1912-1954

2 Warrington Crescent, London, United Kingdom where he lived (1912-1954)