History's HEROES? 1912 - 1954

Alan Turing

Alan Turing - Timeline

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1912 Alan Mathison Turing born in Maida Vale, London, to Ethel Sara Turing (nee Stoney) and Julius Mathison Turing.
1918 Alan joins St Michael's day school in Hastings, where he does not do very well. He is sent to Hazelhurst Preparatory School when he is ten where he does much better and learns to play chess.
1926 Alan becomes a pupil at Sherborne School in Dorset. Alan is not interested in their traditional classical education as he really wants to spend his time doing Science and Mathematics
1927 Alan becomes deeply interested in the work of Albert Einstein and is able to develop work done by Einstein based on a questioning of Newton's Laws of Motion.
1928 - 1930 Alan enters 6th form at Sherborne and becomes great friends with Christopher Morcom, another talented boy who loves Maths and Science. While they are applying for university, Christopher suddenly dies. Alan is devastated.
1931-1934 Alan becomes an undergraduate at King's College, Cambridge to study Mathematics. He enjoys university and is highly successful. He graduates with distinction.
1935 Alan's work is so distinguished that he is elected Fellow of King's College, aged only 23.
1938 Alan goes to Princeton University in America to study mathematics and is awarded a PhD.
1939 September - Alan is asked to join the Government Codes and Ciphers School and arrives at Bletchley Park the day after war is declared.
1939 - 1940 With Gordon Welchman, Alan develops the Bombe, a device for decrypting the messages sent by the Germans using their Enigma machine.
1940 - 1942 During 1942, Alan and his colleagues also manage to break the more complicated German Naval Enigma system. This is a tremendous help to the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic.
1943 - 1945 Alan is asked to work as a top level intelligence link with USA, which he visits to share information on cryptology (code-breaking).
1945 At the end of the war, Alan Turing is awarded the OBE for his wartime services.
1946 Alan joins the National Physical Laboratory, in Teddington and he publishes a paper with the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.
1948 Alan is appointed as as Reader in the Mathematics Department of Manchester University.
1949 Alan is made deputy director of the Computing Laboratory at Manchester University.
1950 Alan publishes'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' in which he develops the Turing Test, an attempt to define a standard for a machine to be called intelligent. The paper will become very famous.
1951 During his year, Alan is elected Fellow of the Royal Society FRS and also gives a talk about Artificial Intelligence on the BBC radio's Third Programme.
1952 January - Alan is arrested for gross indecency and loses his security clearance. He is offered chemical treatment as an alternative to imprisonment. The hormone treatment has a very detrimental effect on him.
1954 June 8th - Alan's body is found in his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire. The post-mortem finds that his death had been caused by poisoning. A half-eaten apple is found next to him laced with cyanide. His body is cremated at Woking crematorium.
1966 The annual Turing Award is established and given each year to a person for technical contributions to the computing community. It is generally viewed as important as the Nobel Prize.
1986 The play, Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore opens in the West End and then transfers to Broadway. The part of Alan Turing is played by Derek Jacobi who is nominated for three Tony Awards.
1998 A Blue Plaque is unveiled at Turing's birthplace in Warrington Crescent, London (now the Colonnade Hotel).
2001 A statue of Alan Turing is unveiled in Sackville Gardens, Manchester.
2004 A memorial plaque is unveiled at his last home in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
2007 A slate sculpture of Alan Turing is unveiled at Bletchley Park.
The University of Manchester renames the complex housing the School of Mathematics and the Centre for Astrophysics as The Alan Turing Building.
2009 - September In response to a petition signed by thousands of people, The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown issues a public apology in which he describes the treatment of Alan Turing as "appalling".
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