Friday, 3 February 2012

Alan Turing Centenary

One of the anniversaries in 2012 which is being celebrated across the world is the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, OBE. If it wasn’t for him you wouldn’t be reading this because his mathematical work was the foundation for the first computer. The UK government, however, seem to be oblivious to the scale of his contributions to science and technology and the modern world, and the only thing they seem to be doing is issuing a commemorative stamp!

We are at the best possible time in terms of technological achievement to celebrate the life and genius of Alan Turing. We’re not too close to his work to not realise how important it is, and not too far away for those who knew him to be given the opportunity to give personal insights into his work and the man himself.

As far as my home county is concerned, Nottinghamshire can claim some little part in Turing’s background. His father Julius was born in Edwinstowe in very heart of Sherwood Forest in 1873. The family were living there because Alan’s grandfather was Rev. John Turing, Vicar of Edwinstowe.

Next year’s LGBT History Month is being dedicated to science and technology in honour of Turing, with a special pre-launch in November this year at Bletchley Park where he conducted much of the work on cracking the Nazi war codes.

There’s a special website dedicated to celebrations for Turing’s centenary. Go to www.mathcomp.leeds.ac.uk/turing2012


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