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Alan Turing. The sad story of a genius

 Alan Matheson Turing was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist and philosopher. It has made a major contribution to the development of computer science with the formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computability. A Turing machine is an abstract model of a general purpose computer.

Alan Turing. The sad story of a genius


Alan Turing is considered the father of theoretical computer science and the theory of artificial intelligence.

During World War II, Turing worked for the Government School of Coding and Ciphering at Bletchley Park, Britain's center for cryptanalysis. For a while he headed the group whose task was to break the ciphers used by the German naval forces. Creates several methods of cryptanalysis and makes improvements to the Bomba computing electromechanical machine, which makes it possible to decipher the Enigma codes.

After the war, Alan Turing worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created the ACE - one of the first programmable computers. In 1948 he entered the University of Manchester, where he participated in the creation of the so-called manchester computers. At that time, he became interested in mathematical biology, wrote articles on the chemical basis of morphogenesis and predicted chemical reactions taking place in an oscillatory regime such as the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, observed for the first time in the 1960s.

In 1952, Turing was tried for homosexuality, which at the time was still considered a crime in Britain. He chooses to undergo chemical castration rather than go to prison.

Turing's verdict has serious consequences:

 ️ His access to classified material was taken away and it became impossible for him to continue his consulting work for the government (Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) - the British center for government liaison, although he keeps his job at the university).

️ He is also denied entry into the US and even visiting European countries is considered risky due to public anxiety over the disclosure of Soviet agents. It was then that the first two of the Cambridge Five were revealed - Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean, double agents of the KGB.

️Turing was never accused of espionage, but his work at Bletchley Park was classified and, according to the Official Secrets Act, he could not discuss it with anyone.

 He died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning, which according to the investigation was a suicide, but some of his relatives believe that his death was an accident. In 2009, after a public campaign for his rehabilitation, Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially apologized for the state's treatment of Turing. And in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned him posthumously.

 

Alan Turing. The sad story of a genius

The Bank of England has announced that the face of the new £50 note will be Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science and artificial intelligence. The new paper money is in circulation from 2021.

Despite his many great achievements, Alan Turing only received the respect he deserved after his death.

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