Happy Birthday Alan Turing – (1912-1954)

Happy Birthday Alan Turing – (1912-1954)

Alan_TuringAs you go about your day on the internet today you will very likely see references to the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. I’d like take a moment to ask you to read about him and maybe let me tell you a tiny bit about him too.

Alan Mathison Turing was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was a true and undeniable genius.

Alan Turing was one of the greatest minds this world has ever seen or ever will see.

I’m not going to rehash his life, his accomplishments, his achievements in science except to bring out a few highlights in my own words and in a few articles I’ve shared out today as well.

Alan Turing’s work with a truly amazing group of people at Bletchley Park during World War II gave the allies the edge they needed to win the war.

*The computer you are reading this on right now owes its existence to Alan Turing. The Smartphone in your pocket as well. His ideas on computing changed the future. Turing was the father of the modern computer.*

Read this: Turing is so fundamental to so much of computer science that it is hard to do anything with computers that isn’t some way influenced by his work,” said Eric Brown, who was a member of the IBM team that built the “Jeopardy”-winning Watson supercomputer.

He accomplished all this before the age of 41. Think about that. Albert Einstein lived to be 76 and was contributing to science and advancing the thinking about the universe pretty much right till the end of his life.

Turing lived thirty-five years less and his work continues to play out in our lives. Can you imagine what incredible things Alan Turing could have accomplished had he lived twenty or thirty years more?

Where would our technology be now?

Every year that is a thought I have— what incredible things would he have done and discovered and given to humanity had he lived?

Turing’s later years before his death hang over his accomplishments like a shroud and while it is criminal, horrible and unbelievable that he was criminally prosecuted for his sexual orientation that is not the overriding take away from the story of Alan Turing. His genius, his gifts, his discoveries, his enduring genius that effects our lives over fifty years after his death, that is what I prefer to focus on.

As I said before, Alan Turing was one of the greatest minds our world has ever seen. He was one of the human beings that shined like a star amongst us and his genius ripples out across time to touch even the lives of children that aren’t even born yet. Few creatures of our species can say that.

Here’s a few links to read more about Turing:

Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

A call to put Turing on the 10 pound note:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9314910/Britain-still-owes-Alan-Turing-a-debt.html

The Alan Turning Page:
http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/

How Alan Turing Set The Rules For Computing:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9228397/How_Alan_Turing_set_the_rules_for_computing

Alan Turing Invented The Computer Age (featuring one of my favorite pictures of Turing)
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/04/26/how-alan-turing-invented-the-computer-age/

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Alan Turing. Thank you. Rest In Peace.

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