25 March 2012

Sunday Tap

Well duh! Of course, he was!

Alan Turing. Name ring a bell? I was talking to a retired history professor friend of mine the other day. Always great talking to him when he randomly has trivia to share. The latest lesson was the inventor of the first computer was a ruby shoe wearing Mary. And just thinking about it, of course he was trying to find a way to create Grindr, ultimately. Check this out from Wikipedia:

Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS ( /ˈtjʊərɪŋ/ TEWR-ing; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954), was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He was stockily built, had a high-pitched voice, and was talkative, witty, and somewhat donnish. He showed many of the characteristics that are indicative of Asperger syndrome.

During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

After the war he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman's Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, where he assisted in the development of the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and he predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, which were first observed in the 1960s.

Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. He died in 1954, just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined it was suicide; his mother and some others believed his death was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for the way in which Turing was treated after the war.

The more you know . . . [cue shooting star]

- DeeCue

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