We at Market Opportunities Unlimited (MOU) Blog, along with the many who value the of role of science and technology in improving our lives, celebrate the 100th birthday of Alan Turing (1912 - 1954) - the father of cryptography.
Alan Turing was a mathematical genius who was skilled at solving very technical math problems and at cryptography - the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties.
Alan Turing's genius helped end World War II, by him utilizing his skill to decrypt messages sent among the German military re their plans to attack the British.
He is also renown for:
1) His statement that the mathematical problem - the Entscheidungsproblem, that stunned mathematicians of his day (1912-1954), could not be solved.
2) In attempting to solve the above problem, his 1936 paper ("On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem"), laid out the framework for the modern computer.
3) Envisioning artificial intelligence by stating that one day, computers would be able to trick humans to believe that the computer was intelligent.
(The famous Turing Test, named after Alan Turing, tests a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour).
It was said that Alan Turing committed suicide by eating an apple laced with cyanide, but no test was ever done on the apple to prove this theory.
His biographer (Prof Jack Copeland) said that Turing's death was more likely a result of cyanide escaping from laboratory tests he was doing in his home at the time.
Alan Turing's latter life (his late 30's to early 40s), was lived in despair, due to chemical castration by the British government for him being a gay man.
-being gay was outlawed in Britain at the time.
Alan Turing died at age 41 (two weeks prior to his 42nd birthday), but his contribution to the fields of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, will live on.
You can read more about Alan Turing's life, here:
Google paid tribute to Alan Turing today, by devoting their Google search page to him, today.
1) Article, "Alan Turing recalled as computer pioneer ", by James Temple, San Francisco Chronicle: SFGate, June 23,2012
2) BBC World Service, June 23,2012.