Some things about the man who is considered as the father of computer, Alan Turing, why was he called that, how was his work recognized, when did he made. He was an English mathematician, logician and cryptographer who was responsible for breaking the Nazi Enigma code during World War II. His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer.
1. He was an Olympic-level runner
Turing participated in a few sports, such as rowing, but he loved running. To work it into his day, he often ran to the places he needed to go. He used to run the 10 miles between the two places where he did most of his work, the National Physical Laboratory and the electronics building on Dollis Hill, beating colleagues who took public transportation to the office.
2. He got bad grades and frustrated his teachers
Science was considered as a second-class pursuit in English public schools in the 1920s. Turing’s passion for science embarrassed his mother, who had hoped he would study the classics, which was the most acceptable pursuit for gentlemen. His math and science grades weren’t much better. He was nearly stopped from taking the national School Certificate exams on the subject, for fear he would fail.
3. He also dabbled in physics, biology, chemistry and neurology
His most notable work today is as a computer scientist. In 1936, he also developed the idea for the Universal Turing Machine, the basis for the first computer. And he developed a test for AI in 1950, which is still used today. But he also studied physics, especially as a young man. He read Einstein’s theory of relativity as a teenager, and immediately filled a notebook with his own thoughts and ideas on the subject. He dabbled in quantum mechanics, a new field at the time, as well as biology, chemistry and neurology after the war. Much of this work was related to creating machines that could learn and “think”, but some of it came out of simple curiosity about the world.
4. He didn’t keep his sexuality a secret among friends (He was Gay)
The laws at the time prevented Turing from being openly gay, but he never kept his sexuality secret either. He was open with his social circles at Kings College in Cambridge. Many people wanted to be in these social circles but Turing branched out to continue his work. In 1952, he was arrested and charged with “indecency” after a brief relationship with another man. Defiant, he did not deny the charges. He said that this shouldn’t be against the laws at the time of his arrest.
5. He refused to let a punishment of chemical castration stop him from working
The punishment for homosexuality was chemical castration, a series of hormone injections that left Turing impotent. It also caused gynecomastia, giving him breasts. But Turing refused to let the treatment sway him from his work, keeping up his lively spirit.
He dealt with this threat with as much humor and defiance as one can muster. He really fought back … by insisting on continuing work as if nothing had happened. He openly talked about his trial, even in the “macho environment” of the computer lab. He mocked the law’s absurdity. In defiance, he traveled abroad to Norway and the Mediterranean, where the gay rights movements were budding. Homosexuality was considered a security risk at the time, and the conviction cost Turing his security clearance. That was a harsh blow, and when he was restricted from leaving the country anymore, it ultimately led Turing to suicide.
6. He committed suicide
Turing took his own life in 1954, two years after being outed as gay. Homosexuality was still a crime in Great Britain at the time, and Turing was convicted of “indecency.” He died from eating an apple laced with cyanide. He was only 41 years old. At the time of his death, the public had no idea what he had contributed to the war effort. Sixty years later, Queen Elizabeth II officially pardoned Turing.
7. He developed a new field of biology out of his fascination with daisies
Even as a child, Turing saw life through the eyes of a scientist. There is a famous sketch of Turing as a boy “watching the daisies grow” while the other children play field hockey. That sketch would foreshadow Turing’s ground-breaking work in 1952 on morphogenesis, which became a completely new field of mathematical biology. It was a mathematical explanation of how things grow — a great mystery to science, Hodges explained. His work on the subject has been cited more than 8,000 times. The subject of one of his seminal papers on the topic was called “Outline of the Development of the Daisy.”