Alan turing the enigma book summary

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alan turing the enigma book summary

Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

Alan Turing (1912-54) was a British mathematician who made history. His breaking of the German U-boat Enigma cipher in World War II ensured Allied-American control of the Atlantic. But Turings vision went far beyond the desperate wartime struggle. Already in the 1930s he had defined the concept of the universal machine, which underpins the computer revolution. In 1945 he was a pioneer of electronic computer design. But Turings true goal was the scientific understanding of the mind, brought out in the drama and wit of the famous Turing test for machine intelligence and in his prophecy for the twenty-first century.

Drawn in to the cockpit of world events and the forefront of technological innovation, Alan Turing was also an innocent and unpretentious gay man trying to live in a society that criminalized him. In 1952 he revealed his homosexuality and was forced to participate in a humiliating treatment program, and was ever after regarded as a security risk. His suicide in 1954 remains one of the many enigmas in an astonishing life story.
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It seems he even interviewed many people who knew him. The author went into quite a lot of mathematical and technical detail in parts which, as a software engineer, I quite enjoyed. It was very interesting for me to realise that his major achievement was really in his mathematical endeavours rather than in computing. However, the same links could probably have been drawn with far less detail spent documenting his childhood. The documentation about his eventual demise leads into some nice, reflective wrapping up about his whole life.

Alan Turing was the mathematician whose cipher-cracking transformed the Second World War. Taken on by British Intelligence in , as a shy young Cambridge don, he combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications. But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in he turned this into the first design for a digital computer. Turing's far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence.

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This New York Times —bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in , is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program--all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime. The inspiration for a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution. Teaching Professors : To request a print examination copy for course consideration, please visit: Ingram Academic. Inspection copies are only available to verified university faculty.

Andrew Hodges. Alan Turing: The Enigma. Princeton: Princeton University Press, ; repr. He creates a narrative tapestry that illuminates the life of one of the most significant individual contributors to Allied victory in the Second World War. That apology was precipitated by the enormous popularity of an online petition. We follow Turing through family holidays, his burgeoning intellectual curiosity, and the austerity and harsh realities of the English public school system. There Turing would meet his first and enduring love, Christopher, the memory of whom would influence Turing throughout his life.

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