10 Major Facts about Alan Turing
Alan Turing ( 1912 – 1954) was a great Mathematician from England, who has been largely credited for founding modern computing. His code-breaking contribution helped the U.K and its allies to win World War II. Below, we present 10 very worth-knowing facts about Alan Turing:
He went through an invasive hormonal therapy
When evidence suggested that Turing had a homosexual carnal activity with another man, his behavior was described (by U.K. law) as indecent. After admitting his guilt, he was given two conditions: either he goes to jail or undergo a medical treatment to lessen his libido. Turing chose the latter and he was subjected to a 12-month hormonal therapy. In essence, he was chemically castrated.
Alan Turing allegedly killed himself
Turing was sacked from his job with the government code-breakers, after he was found guilty of homosexuality. Two years after undergoing the chemical castration, Turing’s cleaner discovered him dead in his room. Medical examinations declared his death suicide by “cyanide poisoning”. Close to his bed, a partly eaten apple fruit was found.
He was granted a posthumous pardon
In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II signed a royal pardon for the gay conviction of Alan Turing. It was a response to a popular campaign started by a computer programmer (John Graham), and backed by many people, including famous scientist Steven Hawkins.
He was a prodigy
Turing’s math and science intelligence showed signs in him at an early age. When he was 14, he understood complex mathematics without being taught elementary calculus. By 16, he had already grasped Einstein’s concept of gravity.
Alan Turing is considered as the Founding Father of Modern Computing
In 1936, Alan Turing published a groundbreaking paper on “computable numbers”. He proposed a calculating machine known as the “Universal Turing Machine”. His work established the foundation of modern computers.
He put his hacking/cryptanlyst skills to good use to save his country
During the Second World War, Alan Turing designed and operated a code-breaking machine known as “the Bombe”. His device was used by Allied forces to break codes of the German “Enigma codes”.
He had a weird character
Alan Turing was fan of exhibiting an eccentric behavior. At Bletchley Park, where he worked with the code-breaking department, there are reports that he used to ward off thieves by keeping his drinking cup close to a radiator.
The Turing Award is revered as the “Nobel Prize” in Computer Science
An annual award scheme for computing accomplishments (the AM Turing Award), has been named after Alan Turing. In computing spheres, a Turing Award is seen as a Nobel Prize equivalent.
Alan Turing had one of the most beautiful minds of the 20th century
Turing’s name has been listed several times as a great achiever. In 1999, his name made the list of Time Magazine’s “Most Important 20th Century Personalities”. Turing’s name also secured the twentieth spot on the BBC list of “100 Greatest Britons”.
The Apple Logo isn’t related to Alan Turing
Many people wrongly associated Apple Inc. logo to Alan Turing. It turns out that there is no link between the partly eaten Turing’s apple and the tech giant. However, Steve Jobs (the Apple co-founder), wished their logo was related to Turing.