Alan Turing, founder of computer science and wartime code-breaker, was born 100 years ago. How much do you know about him?
Alan Turing, the founding father of computer science who saved millions of lives with his code-breaking work in World War II, would have been 100 years old on Saturday 23 June.
Turing’s contribution to cryptography, computing, artificial intelligence and mathematics was colossal, especially given his tragically early death. The centenary is being honoured with a mammoth series of events, including conferences this week in Cambridge and Manchester.
Can you break the code?
To celebrate the centenary, GCHQ has released previously-secret code-breaking papers by Turing, and in the run-up to this year, thousands of people demanded an apology for the treatment he received as a gay man, and a pardon for his criminal conviction.
What is our favourite Turing memorial of the year? Call us trivial, but we like the playfulness of the Lego Turing Machine, built using Mindstorms by a team from CWI, the Netherlands’ national centre for mathematics and computer science.
Our own contribution is modest, but heart-felt. We are offering a small challenge in the form of a quiz on the life and legacy of Turing.
We won’t describe the great man at length here, especially as anything we say might be a spoiler for the quiz.
See how well you know Alan Turing:
And if you like it, consider trying some of the others.