Alan Turing

Alan Turing

Monday 23 June 2014 would have been Alan Turing's 102nd birthday. One of the 20th century's great mathematicians, Turing made profound contributions to a wide range of fields including computer science, artificial intelligence and mathematical biology, and played a key role in the codebreaking work at Bletchley Park during World War II. Learn more about his life and mathematical work with these articles and video.

Most of us have a rough idea that computers are made up of complicated hardware and software. But perhaps few of us know that the concept of a computer was envisioned long before these machines became ubiquitous items in our homes, offices and even pockets.

Geometric hallucinations are very common: people get them after taking drugs, following sensory deprivation, or even after rubbing their eyes. What can they tell us about how our brain works?

Why are drug induced hallucinations so compelling that they apparently provided much of the inspiration for early forms of abstract art? Researchers suggest that the answer hinges on an interplay between the mathematics of pattern formation and a mechanism that generates a sense of value and meaning.

Alan Turing was a mathematician and WWII code breaker who was convicted of homosexuality in the 1950s, chemically castrated as a result, died young in mysterious circumstances and still hasn't received all the recognition
he deserves. His life clearly makes great material for a play — but a musical? We talk to the directors and lead actor of The Universal Machine.

The universal machine is a musical about Alan Turing, the mathematician and WWII code breaker who was convicted of homosexuality in the 1950s, chemically castrated as a result, and died young in mysterious circumstances. How do you turn such a story, and the maths in it, into a musical? We talked to writer and director David Byrne, Richard Delaney, who plays Turing, and Assistant Director Natalie York.

Yesterday's refusal by the UK government to posthumously pardon Alan Turing makes sad news for maths, computer science and the fight against discrimination. But even if symbolic gestures are, symbolically, being rebuffed, at least Turing's most important legacy — the scientific one — is going stronger than ever. An example is this week's announcement that scientists have devised a biological computer, based on an idea first described by Turing in the 1930s.

Almost nothing tangible remains of the legendary Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing. So when an extremely rare collection of papers relating to his life and work was set to go to auction last year, an ambitious campaign was launched to raise funds to purchase them for the Bletchley Park Trust and its Museum. The Trust has announced today that the collection has been saved for the nation as the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has stepped in quickly to provide £213,437, the final piece of funding required.

Peter Markowich is a mathematician who likes to take pictures. At first his two interests seemed completely separate to him, but then he realised that behind every picture there is a mathematical story to tell. Plus went to see him to find out more, and ended up with a pictorial introduction to partial differential equations.
Alan Turing is the father of computer science and contributed significantly to the WW2 effort, but his life came to a tragic end. Stefan Kopieczek explores his story.
Syndicate content