Alan Turing: the enigma

Website maintained by biographer Andrew Hodges



Who was Alan Turing?

Founder of computer science, mathematician, philosopher,
codebreaker, strange visionary and a gay man before his time:

... a quite brilliant mathematician... whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war... horrifying that he was treated so inhumanely...

Personal statement of apology by the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, 10 September 2009.
Musical biography A man from the future, Pet Shop Boys, London, 23 July 2014

1912 (23 June): Birth, Paddington, London
1926-31: Sherborne School
1930: Death of friend Christopher Morcom
1931-34: Undergraduate at King's College, Cambridge University
1932-35: Quantum mechanics, probability, logic. Fellow of King's College, Cambridge
1936: The Turing machine, computability, universal machine
1936-38: Princeton University. Ph.D. Logic, algebra, number theory
1938-39: Return to Cambridge. Introduced to German Enigma cipher machine
1939-40: The Bombe, machine for Enigma decryption
1939-42: Breaking of U-boat Enigma, saving battle of the Atlantic
1943-45: Chief Anglo-American crypto consultant. Electronic work.
1945: National Physical Laboratory, London
1946: Computer and software design leading the world.
1947-48: Programming, neural nets, and artificial intelligence
1948: Manchester University, first serious mathematical use of a computer
1950: The Turing Test for machine intelligence
1951: Elected FRS. Non-linear theory of biological growth
1952: Arrested as a homosexual, loss of security clearance
1953-54: Unfinished work in biology and physics
1954 (7 June): Death (suicide) by cyanide poisoning, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Film The imitation game, September 2014. 'Based on the true story.'

1946 photo

Alan Turing in 1946.
Full picture

This website complements my full biography:

Alan Turing: the enigma

See the Extracts and Update sections.



Index

A short on-line biography in eight parts:

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

This is followed by my Oration at Alan Turing's Birthplace of 23 June 1998.


The Alan Turing Internet Scrapbook

Full of images and links. Go to the Scrapbook Index or go direct to one of the most popular starting-points:

Empire of the mind, 1912-1928
Turing Machines, with Turing Machines simulated in JavaScript
Critical cryptanalysis: the Enigma war
Who invented the computer?
The Turing Test in theory... and in practice.

Turing Sources:

Guide to archives and photographs

Complete bibliography

Original documents

My publications:

On-line versions of papers and articles.

Complete site map

Website © Andrew Hodges

University of Oxford page


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