Alan Turing
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enCelebrating Alan Turing's birthday
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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. He also played a crucial role in the Allied codebreaking work at Bletchley Park during World War II, credited by some historians with shortening the conflict by two years.</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/celebrating-alan-turings-birthday" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/celebrating-alan-turings-birthday#commentsAlan TuringvideoMon, 23 Jun 2014 08:43:58 +0000jemh46121 at http://plus.maths.org/contentComputers, maths and minds
http://plus.maths.org/content/computers-maths-mind
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Alan Aw </div>
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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. </div>
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<p>Many of us own computers, and we (well, 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. And as we will see later, some have even suggested that our
own brains are embodiments of this theoretical concept.
</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/computers-maths-mind" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/computers-maths-mind#commentsAlan Turingcomputer scienceneurosciencephilosophy of mathematicsTuring MachineTue, 04 Feb 2014 09:16:52 +0000mf3446032 at http://plus.maths.org/contentHow do we hallucinate?
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Marianne Freiberger </div>
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<p>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?</p>
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<div class="rightshoutout">You can read a more technical version of this article <a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/uncoiling-spiral-maths-and-hallucinations">here.</a></div>
<p>Think drug-induced hallucinations, and the whirly, spirally, tunnel-vision-like patterns of psychedelic imagery immediately spring to mind. But it's not just hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, cannabis or mescaline that conjure up these geometric structures.<p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/how-do-we-hallucinate" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/how-do-we-hallucinate#commentsAlan Turingmathematical modellingmedicine and healthmorphogenesisneuroscienceFri, 24 Jan 2014 10:54:47 +0000mf3446029 at http://plus.maths.org/contentCaves, drugs and art
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>An abstract pattern engraved in a piece of ochre found at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blombos_Cave">Blombos Cave</a> in South Africa. Image: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blombos_Cave_engrave_ochre.jpg">Chris S. Henshilwood</a>.</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/caves-drugs-and-art" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/caves-drugs-and-art#commentsmathematical realityAlan Turingemergent behaviourmathematics and artmorphogenesispsychologyreaction-diffusion equationsThu, 25 Jul 2013 09:30:54 +0000mf3445932 at http://plus.maths.org/contentPutting Turing on stage
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<p>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<br />
he deserves. His life clearly makes great material for a play — but a musical? We talk to the directors and lead actor of <em>The Universal Machine</em>.</p>
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You can listen to a longer version of this interview in our <a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/turing-podcast">podcast</a>.
</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/putting-turing-stage" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/putting-turing-stage#commentsAlan Turingmathematics and artmathematics and theatreThu, 13 Jun 2013 09:24:50 +0000mf3445902 at http://plus.maths.org/contentPutting Turing on stage: The podcast
http://plus.maths.org/content/turing-podcast
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<p><em>The universal machine</em> poster detail.</p><p><a href='http://plus.maths.org/content/sites/plus.maths.org/files/podcast/turing.mp3'>Listen to the interview</a></p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/turing-podcast" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/turing-podcast#commentsAlan TuringcryptographyEnigmamathematics and artmathematics and musicmathematics and theatreThu, 13 Jun 2013 09:03:34 +0000mf3445904 at http://plus.maths.org/contentBuilding a bio computer
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<p>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.</p>
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<p>Yesterday's <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2012/feb/07/alan-turing-pardon-lord-mcnally-lord-sharkey-computers">refusal</a> by the UK government to posthumously pardon
<a href="http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Turing.html">Alan Turing</a> makes sad news for maths, computer science and the fight
against discrimination.</p>
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<p>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.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Turing.html">Alan Turing</a> was one of the twentieth century's most influential mathematicians. He's regarded as the father of modern computer science, played a vital part in breaking the Germans' Enigma code during WW2, fundamental to the Allied victory, and his work in mathematical logic penetrated to the very foundations of maths. Arguably, his work has touched more lives than that of most other mathematicians. </p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/turings-papers-stay-home" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/turings-papers-stay-home#commentsAlan TuringBletchley Parkcomputer scienceEnigmalogicFri, 25 Feb 2011 10:59:47 +0000mf3445432 at http://plus.maths.org/contentUniversal pictures
http://plus.maths.org/content/universal-pictures
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Marianne Freiberger </div>
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<b>Peter Markowich</b> 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. <i>Plus</i> went to see him to find out more, and ended up with a pictorial introduction to partial differential equations. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">September 2008</div>
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<p><i>Beautiful photography is not what you usually find on a mathematician's website, but this is just what Plus recently came across while idly browsing the Web. Intrigued, we went to see the website's owner, and ended up with an introduction to some high-powered mathematics through the means of pictures.</i></p>
<p><i>Parts of this interview are also available as a <a href="/podcasts/PlusPodcastSept08.mp3">podcast</a>.</i></p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/universal-pictures" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/universal-pictures#comments48Alan Turinganimal patterningBoltzmann equationCMSdifferential equationmathematics and artnavier-stokes equationsoptimal transportationpartial differential equationreaction-diffusion equationsSun, 31 Aug 2008 23:00:00 +0000plusadmin2343 at http://plus.maths.org/contentAlan Turing: ahead of his time
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Stefan Kopieczek </div>
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Alan Turing is the father of computer science and contributed significantly to the WW2 effort, but his life came to a tragic end. <b>Stefan Kopieczek</b> explores his story. </div>
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<p><i>This article is the runner up of the schools category of the <a href="/issue47/winners.html">Plus new writers award 2008</a>. Students were asked to write about the life and work of a mathematician of their choice.</i></p>
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<p>Alan Turing</p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/alan-turing-ahead-his-time" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/alan-turing-ahead-his-time#commentsAlan Turingartificial intelligenceBletchley Parkcomputer sciencecryptographyEnigmahalting problemPlus new writers award 2008Turing MachineTuring testSat, 31 May 2008 23:00:00 +0000plusadmin2332 at http://plus.maths.org/contentExploring the Enigma
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Claire Ellis </div>
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During the Second World War, the Allies' codebreakers worked at Bletchley Park to decipher the supposedly unbreakable Enigma code. <b>Claire Ellis</b> tells us about their heroic efforts, which historians believe shortened the war by two years. </div>
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<div class="pub_date">March 2005</div>
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<p><i>As long ago as the Ancient Greeks, warring armies have encrypted their communications in an attempt to keep their battle plans a secret from their enemies. However, just as one side invented an ingenious new way to encipher its messages, so would its enemies discover a clever way of cracking that code.<p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/exploring-enigma" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/exploring-enigma#comments34Alan TuringBletchley ParkEnigmaTue, 01 Mar 2005 00:00:00 +0000plusadmin2264 at http://plus.maths.org/contentHow the leopard got its spots
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Lewis Dartnel </div>
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How does the uniform ball of cells that make up an embryo differentiate to create the dramatic patterns of a zebra or leopard? How come there are spotty animals with stripy tails, but no stripy animals with spotty tails? <b>Lewis Dartnell</b> solves these, and other, puzzles of animal patterning. </div>
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<h2>Some Just So stories of animal patterning</h2>
<p><i>Alan Turing is considered to be one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the last century. He helped crack the German Enigma code during the Second World War and laid the foundations for the digital computer. His only foray into mathematical biology produced a paper so insightful that it is still regularly cited today, over 50 years since it was published.</i></p>
<p align="center"></p><p><a href="http://plus.maths.org/content/how-leopard-got-its-spots" target="_blank">read more</a></p>http://plus.maths.org/content/how-leopard-got-its-spots#comments30Alan Turinganimal patterningdifferential equationdiffusionmorphogenesispartial differential equationpartial differentiationperturbationreaction-diffusion equationssaturationthresholdFri, 30 Apr 2004 23:00:00 +0000plusadmin2246 at http://plus.maths.org/content