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Profile of the Day: Alan Turing

Today we remember British mathematician Alan Turing, who was born on this day in 1912. Considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing is remembered as one of the most influential minds of the 20th century.

Image: Alan Turing / Wikimedia Commons

Turing was born on June 23, 1912 in London, England to Julius Mathison Turing, and Ethel Sara Stoney. From a young age, Turing was a natural at mathematics.

During World War II, Turing played a vital role in deciphering the messages encrypted by the German’s Enigma machine. His work to break the code provided vital intelligence to Allied forces that enabled the defeat of the Nazis in several crucial battles.

After the war, he continued his work with computers and developed the first designs for a stored-program computer. Widely considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing’s groundbreaking and pioneering work laid the groundwork for computers today.

Despite his ingenious breakthroughs, Turing was arrested and charged with indecency in 1952 due to his sexual orientation. At the time, homosexuality was a crime in Britain. As an alternative to imprisonment, Turing was sentenced to chemical castration. He was stripped of his security clearance and barred from continuing his work. Tragically, he committed suicide on June 7, 1954. Nearly 60 years after his death, Queen Elizabeth II posthumously granted Turing a royal pardon.

View Alan Turing’s Geni Profile

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