Skip to main content

Alan Turing was a physicist and mathematician most notably known to have cracked the code of the German ENIGMA machine. A means of commanders contacting the dreaded U-Boats that was encoded to the point that seizing and decoding the machine was the only way British shipping could be safe on the open seas. Turing also did work on primitive computers

Together with another mathematician W G Welchman, Turing developed the Bombe, a machine based on earlier work by Polish mathematicians, which from late 1940 was decoding all messages sent by the Enigma machines of the Luftwaffe. The Enigma machines of the German navy were much harder to break but this was the type of challenge which Turing enjoyed. By the middle of 1941 Turing's statistical approach, together with captured information, had led to the German navy signals being decoded at Bletchley.

From November 1942 until March 1943 Turing was in the United States liaising over decoding issues and also on a speech secrecy system. Changes in the way the Germans encoded their messages had meant that Bletchley lost the ability to decode the messages. Turing was not directly involved with the successful breaking of these more complex codes, but his ideas proved of the greatest importance in this work. Turing was awarded the O.B.E. in 1945 for his vital contribution to the war effort.

At the end of the war Turing was invited by the National Physical Laboratory in London to design a computer. His report proposing the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) was submitted in March 1946. Turing's design was at that point an original detailed design and prospectus for a computer in the modern sense. The size of storage he planned for the ACE was regarded by most who considered the report as hopelessly over-ambitious and there were delays in the project being approved.

Obviously this was a brilliant man working on many variations of mathematics to create computers that are primitive by our standards but basically on/off circuits now larger than most towers. They were laid out in rows and switched over by hand initially.

He was caught with a male lover and charged as if he was a criminal. He tried taking estrogens under court order to avoid prison.  He was found dead with an arsenic laced apple shortly after.

Originally posted to Remembering LGBT History on Tue Oct 08, 2013 at 09:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site