Saturday, June 23, 2012

Today Is the Birthday of a Man to Whom We Owe an Unfathomable Debt . . .

Alan M. Turing
(June 23, 1912 — June 7, 1954)

British mathematician and logician, who made major contributions to mathematics, cryptanalysis, logic, philosophy, and biology and to the new areas later named computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.

Alan Turing was a patriot, a hero, and a homosexual. 

Because of the latter, his achievements, which were instrumental in saving lives and revolutionizing the world in which we now live, were overlooked; he was prosecuted and convicted, chemically castrated, and died of cyanide poisoning. He was 41 years old.

I think it's accurate to say that this is a birthday without which the world would be a different and eminently poorer place. 

To understand why, please read on:

Book - The Essential Turing: Seminal Writings in Computing, Logic, Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Life plus The Secrets of Enigma.
Google's Turing Doodle, solution.

Alan Turing
Turing memorial statue plaque in Sackville Park, Manchester
The Enigma machine

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