His work gave the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe, and led to the creation of the computer.
Turing took his own life intwo years after being outed as gay. He was only 41 years old. At the time of his death, the public Enigma code breaker homosexual relationship no idea what he had contributed to the war effort. He participated in a few sports, such as rowing, but he loved running.
To work it into his day, he often ran to the places he needed to go. He used to run the 10 miles between the two places where he did most of his work, the National Physical Laboratory and the electronics building on Dollis Hill, beating colleagues who took public transportation to the office. He joined running clubs, becoming a competitive amateur and winning several races. With his youthful face, he was often mistaken for an undergraduate even in his 30s.
Though Turing joined the Anti-War Movement inhe never got deeply involved in politics. Science was a considered a second-class pursuit in English public schools in the s, Hodges said. But he got bad to mediocre grades in school, followed by many complaints from his teachers.
His English teacher wrote:. He was nearly stopped from taking the national School Certificate exams on the subject, for fear he would fail. It was based on plans for a larger computer the ACE designed by the mathematician Alan Turing between and Inhe developed the idea for the Universal Turing Machine, the basis for the first computer.
And he developed a test for artificial intelligence inwhich is still used today.
But he also studied physics, especially as a young man. He dabbled in quantum mechanics, a new field at the time, as well as biology, chemistry and neurology after the war. Even as a child, Turing saw life through the eyes of a scientist, Hodges said.
It was a mathematical explanation of how things grow — a great mystery to science, Hodges explained. His work on the subject has been cited more than 8, times. Sculpture of Alan Turing in slate at Bletchley Park. Photo from Wikimedia Commons, taken by Jon Callas. It is true that he had a bit of a stammer, something dramatic portrayals of Turing have exaggerated, Hodges said. In his biography he notes
Enigma code breaker homosexual relationship a BBC radio producer had called Turing a very difficult person to interview for that reason.
The laws at the time prevented Turing from being openly gay, but he never kept his sexuality secret either.
Many people would have clung to that oasis, he said, but Turing branched out to continue his work. Defiant, he did not deny the charges. The punishment for homosexuality was chemical castration, a series of hormone injections that left Turing impotent. It also caused gynecomastiagiving him breasts. But Turing refused to let the treatment sway him from his work, keeping up his lively spirit.
But in no way did he just succumb and decline. He really fought back … by insisting on continuing as if nothing had happened. In defiance, he traveled abroad to Norway and the Mediterranean, where the gay rights movements were budding. Homosexuality was considered a security risk at the time, and the conviction cost Turing his security clearance.
That was a harsh blow, and Hodges believes that when he was restricted from leaving the country anymore, it ultimately led Turing to suicide. Read Nov 16 The new definition of the kilogram will change the way we weigh everything. Read Nov 15 Federal judge: Watch Nov 13 Nearly 1 in 5 teens seriously considers suicide. Can schools offer relief? Watch Nov 15 Why the rise of the electric scooter has been a bumpy ride. Arts Poetry Now Read Enigma code breaker homosexual relationship. World Agents for Change.
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Game based on Alan Turing: The Enigma and the Turing Exhibition at Alan Turing was gay at a time when homesexual activity was outlawed in England.