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Alan Turing Biography

The Turing Machine became the basis of modern computing. Read this biography to learn more about Alan Turing, the mathematician who first suggested this theoretical machine.
Grades:
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9
Themes:
Mathematician

Born: 23 June 1912
Died: 7 June 1954 (Probable suicide by cyanide poisoning)
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: Pioneer in computers and artificial intelligence

Name at birth: Alan Mathison Turing

Alan Turing was a mathematician who in 1937 suggested a theoretical machine, since called a Turing Machine, that became the basis of modern computing. In 1950 he suggested what has become known as a "Turing's test," still the criterion for recognizing intelligence in a machine. During World War II Turing led the team that succeeded in breaking German high-level secret codes, using the first practical programmed computer, called Colossus. Turing was a homosexual, a crime in England at the time, and in 1952 he was tried, convicted and sentenced to estrogen treatments. In 1954 he died of cyanide poisoning, an apparent suicide.

Extra credit: Turing was also an accomplished competitive runner.

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