Alan Mathison Turing

23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954

On June 7, 1954, Alan Turing, English mathematician logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist committed suicide by eating from an apple laced with cyanide.

During World War II, Turing worked with the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, and was the head of Hut Eight, responsible for developing a means of breaking the German naval and aircraft orders, The Enigma Codes.

Perhaps his greatest achievement was the concept of a Turing or Universal Machine. By reducing any problem to a mathematical computation that is represented as an algorithm, it will be possible to use a machine to solve the equation. It is this principle that has become the basis for all modern computing.

After the war, he worked at the National Physics Laboratory where he created one of the first “stored-program computers” which could be used to solve any number of different problems by first loading the list of instructions and then the data for the specific problem. In this way one machine could be used to solve a multitude of problems.

During his entire career with British Intelligence up to and including his conviction he was totally open about his sexuality. It has been publically intimated that his sexually was tolerated because of his importance to the British war effort.

In 1952, Turing was found guilty of Gross Indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Lay Act of 1885, 50 years after Oscar Wild. A condition of probation with chemical castration using hormone injections was begun which also caused him to begin to develop breasts.

His conviction also meant the loss of his security clearance, which bared him from any further work in the British computing industry.

On September 11, 2009, fifty-five years after his death, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown officially apologized on behalf of the Government.

Beaded PortraitsBeaded_Portraits.html

The background texture is of 1’s and 0’s spelling his name in Binary code