Alan Turing, English Mathematician

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Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRNP4W
Alan Mathison Turing (June 23, 1912 - June 7, 1954) was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. During WWII, he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking center. His pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements. After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behavior was still criminalized in the UK. He accepted treatment with oestrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. He died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death a suicide, but it has since been noted that the known evidence is equally consistent with accidental poisoning. He is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

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