Alan Turing

The Tragic Fate of the Great Alan Turing

Alan Turing is considered one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. He was a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist and philosopher. The British man is regarded as the father of theoretical computer science and the theory of artificial intelligence.

As with many brilliant minds before him, Turing also suffered a tragic fate, leading to his premature death in 1954, when he was barely 41.

Alan Turing had a significant contribution to the Allies' victory over Germany during World War II. During the war he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park.

There he and his team managed to create a revolutionary for the time electromechanical machine which British intelligence used to decode secret German messages from the front.

After the war ended, the talented mathematician did not receive his deserved honors. He began working at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom. He created the machine known as ACE, which was considered one of the 1st computers with a program stored in its memory.

Turing Computer

But his innovations don't end there. At the end of the 40s he began work at the University of Manchester, where he played a role in developing the so-called "Manchester computers". His intensive work continued until 1952.

Then, instead of recognition, Alan Turing was forced into "treatment" for homosexuality. In the early 50s, persons of different sexual orientation were strictly punished by the law.

Usually those alleged in favoring the same sex had 2 choices - to lie in prison or be subjected to chemical castration, which the authorities believed would cure their homosexuality.

Turing chose the second option. He died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning, with investigation revealing suicide but some relatives believed it was an accident.

In 2009, after a public campaign, Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially apologized for the nation's treatment of Turing, while in 2013 queen Elizabeth II gave him a posthumous pardon.

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