Alan Turing year

September 5, 2011

Alan Turing was born in London on June 23, 1912. The Alan Turing Year 2012 celebrates his life and scientific achievements. Here is a link to the official page.

Widely recognize for his contributions during the Second War to the solving of German ciphers, Turing is also responsible for the development of computer science, having isolated the key notion of Turing machine, the mathematical formalization of algorithm. He is also known for the notion of Turing test, aimed at “recognizing” artificial intelligence.

Unfortunately, Turing’s story is marred by his end. Rather than being held as a war hero (or a renown academic), being a homosexual, in 1952 Turing was charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885 and required to undergo hormonal treatment, including chemical castration. Turing committed suicide on June 7, 1954. On September 10, 2009, the British government finally issued an apology.

Here is a link to the excellent Wikipedia entry on Turing. And here is a link to the Alan Turing page, maintained by Andrew Hodges, author of Alan Turing: The Enigma.