Alan Turing


Alan Turing was born on June 23, 1912 in London. In his seminal article published in 1936, he succeeded in showing that there can be no universal algorithmic method for determining truth in mathematics , and that mathematics will always have a series of undecidable propositions . That document also introduced the famous Turing machine . His works on the subject are widely recognized as the basis of research in artificial intelligence and in the creation of the modern computer .

  • When was he born:  06/23/1912
  • Where was born:  Maida Vale, London, UK
  • When he died: 06/07/1954
  • Where he died:  Wilmslow, UK

Who was Alan Turing?

He was a scientist mathematician, logician, computer, cryptographer, philosopher and ultra distance runner British . He is considered one of the fathers of computing and a forerunner of modern computing and in the formalization of the concept of algorithm and computation .

  • Biography of Alan Turing
  • Education
  • Inventions of Alan Turing
  • Contributions of Alan Turing
  • Importance
  • Acknowledgments
  • Alan Turing Quotes

Biography of Alan Turing

Alan Turing was born on June 23, 1912, in London, England . Son of Julius Mathison Turing and Ethel Sara Stoney . He lived much of his childhood in India together with his parents where he studied several important studies from an early age.


In 1936 he published his important study ” Computable numbers , with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem”, Alan Turing formulated again the results of Kurt Gödel in 1931 on the limits of provability and computation , changing to the universal formal language by what is known today as a Turing machine . He also found that the machine could solve any mathematical problem that could be represented by an algorithm .

Alan Turing carried out several works with Norbert Wiener in the development of cybernetics , which was generated from the demand for control systems that they demanded in the development of production techniques from the 20th century on.

In 1952 he appeared before the police to report a robbery and during the statement he indicated his homosexuality , for which he was accused of serious indecency and sexual perversion , which at that time were considered serious crimes in the United Kingdom. He was given the choice between going to prison or chemical castration and he opted for the latter, which produced physical changes affecting his work.

Alan Mathison Turing died in Wilmslow , Cheshire, on June 7, 1954 after giving himself a poison , perhaps by accident. His mother defended that the death was due to the accidental ingestion of cyanide from his fingers after a chemical experiment, but it is more credible that he planned his death.


In his childhood Alan Turing lived in India , since his father worked in the Colonial Administration of the country. He showed great interest in reading, puzzles, and numbers. At the age of 6, he began his studies at St. Michael’s College and at the age of 8 his interest in knowledge and chemical experimentation was so deep that he designed a small laboratory at home.

In 1926 he began his studies at Sherborne boarding school in Dorset, where he met and befriended Christopher Morcom who later passed away, which was a great blow to Alan Turing, so much so that he became an atheist. The young man began to lean towards mathematics and science , an attitude that he did not attribute to him by winning a large part of the mathematical prizes that were given at school.

He studied at King’s College , the University of Cambridge and the American University of Princeton , where he worked with the logician Alonzo Church and was appointed professor at King’s College. In 1936, Alonzo Church and Alan Turing showed that it was impossible to write the decision problem , which was intended to find a general algorithm that would decide whether a first-order calculus formula is a theorem .

In the year 1938, he returned to England to study philosophy of mathematics where he obtained his doctorate at Princeton; In his speech he raised the concept of hyper computing , in which he deepened the Turing machines with the so-called oracle machines, which could study problems that had no algorithmic solution .

Inventions of Alan Turing

Among his most important inventions we mention the following:

  • Turing machine : artifact to perform systematic tasks related to computational concepts of input, output, and programs.
  • Secret Codes and Bombe – He was hired by the government to crack the German codes known as Enigma during WWII .
  • ACE computer and artificial intelligence : he created a computer that allowed to store data, but did not build it and wrote the book Computational Machinery and Intelligence related to artificial intelligence.

Contributions of Alan Turing

His contributions to modern computers were one of the most important aspects of Alan Turing. Thanks to him, today we have programming and math. He contributed in the area of ​​programming development and the codes that are used in computers. It also took the first step in defining artificial intelligence, which could resemble human intelligence in terms of effectiveness and fulfillment of tasks.


Its importance has been compared to that of Churchill and other leaders, although their ideas and inventions were hidden for reasons of national security in times of war. Thanks to him, nowadays we can do different things with a computer, from writing texts and saving them , surfing the internet, listening to music , and we don’t have to change devices for each of these actions. In addition, he is considered the father of artificial intelligence .


On June 23, 2001, a statue of Turing was inaugurated in Manchester . This statue is located in Sackville Park, between the University of Manchester building. On the 50th anniversary of his death, a commemorative plaque was discovered at his former home, Hollymeade, in Wilmslow on June 7, 2004.

The Association for Computing Machinery awards the Turing Award each year to individuals who stand out for their technical contributions to the world of computing.

The Alan Turing Institute was opened by the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and the University of Manchester in the summer of 2004.

On June 5, 2004 , a commemorative event of his life and work was held at the University of Manchester, organized by the British Logic Colloquium and the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

On October 28, 2004, a bronze statue of Alan Turing sculpted by John W. Mills was discovered at the University of Surrey. On June 23, 2012, the day the centenary of the birth of Turing was commemorated, Google introduced among its usual doodles a small machine of Turing able to compare two strings of binary characters.

Alan Turing Quotes

Some of his most recognized phrases in the world are:

  • The machines surprise me very often.
  • The mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we call intuition and ingenuity.
  • The idea behind digital computers can be explained by saying that these machines are intended to carry out any operation that can be performed by a human team.
  • The Science is a differential equation. The religion is a boundary condition.

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