Alan Mathison Turing- 'The father of computer science'
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Quick Facts
  • Born on June 23rd, 1912
  • Died on June 7th, 1954
  • He has one brother, John Turing
  • His parents were Julius Mathison, and Ethel Sara Turing
  • He is often referred to as the founder or father of computer science
  • Alan enjoyed running and rowing

Before the War

Education and childhood

Him and his brother were fostered for most of their childhoods, because their father worked in the British administration of India. Alan loved science as a child, it was a passion of his, he started with simple experiments, that soon turned into more complicated science.

He went to Sherborne school, and the strict education system there did not help Turing to learn what he wanted, so he started studying advanced scientific subjects on his own. In 1928 Alan entered sixth form at Sherborne, and met another very intelligent boy with a passion for science, Christopher Marcom. Alan and Christopher became good friends, and often discussed their passion. Alan then fell in love with Marcom, but it was unrequited; I will tell you more about this later. Alan and Christopher went to the Cambridge entrance exams together in 1930, where Marcom won a scholarship to Trinity, where as Turing did not. Sadly, on February, 13th of 1930, Christopher Marcom suddenly died, Alan took his death pretty hard, but eventually got through it, and in 1931 he won a scholarship to King's College.

In October of 1931, Alan started at Cambridge as an undergraduate student, he studied mathematics. In 1935, While at Cambridge Alan was elected for a fellowship to the college, and in that year he also came up with an idea that would change computer science forever: The Turing Machine.

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Turing Machine

A Turing Machine is the original computer, and the beginning of modern computer science, it was invented by Alan Turing in


A Turing Machine has a line of cells called the "tape", that have a certain set of colours. Turing machines also have a single cell called the "head", and the head can be in different states.

Turing Machines look at the state of the head, and the colour of the cell that the head is on in order to figure out what state the "head" should be in next, what colour should be written, and which way it should move.


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During the war

The Bombe

During WWII the Germans used something called The Enigma Cipher Machine, which was a machine that turned all of the German orders into code, the code was said to be unbreakable, which obviously wasn't completely true, because of Alan Turing.

The Bombe was a big bank with sets of cogs driven by a motor, with relays and electronics to notice a match and sound an alarm.

They looked for patterns in the German code and when a suspected cleartext word ( a suspected word in a German order). If a match was found they knew that they should read the rest of the mesage.


After The War

After the war the government found out that Alan was a homosexual, he had a choice between going to to jail for life, or get "cured". he chose to be cured, because he still had a lot of work that he wanted to do, but he was on so many drugs that he couldn't even think straight.Eventually Alan couldn't take it anymore, he went out to the back of his house with an apple and a cyanide pill, he put the cyanide pill in the apple, and took a bite out of it, and killed himself.

If you ever wondered where the apple logo came from, now you know.