When and where was Alan Turing born?
23 June 1912 in London
What year did he design the Turing Machine, and what was it?
1937 – it was a theoretical machine which described how data could be entered into and output from a device, which also stored this data. This was seen as a hypothetical device which eventually mirrored actual modern day computers quite closely.
What was Alan Turing’s contribution to helping defeat the Nazis during the Second World War?
From 1939 he worked with the other code breakers at Bletchley Park and developed the Bombe machine which decoded the German messages (made by their Enigma machine). Therefore the Allies knew what the Germans were planning during the war. This was crucial for victory and in 1945 Alan Turing was awarded an OBE for this work.
What was the Ferranti I and what did Alan Turing have to do with it?
This was the first commercial computer (1950) Alan Turing helped design this computer.
What is the Turing test?
This was a theory about whether you could say machines could be more intelligent than people. If you put a computer and a person behind closed doors and asked them the same questions – if the computer seemed real and gave the ‘best’ answers it had passed the test. (This is part of a discussion about artificial intelligence).
Why was Alan Turing arrested in 1952?
Alan Turing was arrested and came to trial on 31 March 1952, after the police learned of his sexual relationship with a young Manchester man.
What did Alan Turing have to do to avoid going to prison?
For one year he took injections of oestrogen which were intended to neutralise his libido.
How did Alan Turing die, and how old was he?
He bit into an apple poisoned with cyanide and killed himself. He was 41 years old.
When did the Government make an official apology about how Alan Turing was treated?
2009 (by PM Gordon Brown)
What award is given in Alan Turing’s name?
The Turing award is seen as the equivalent to the Nobel Prize and is given to people who make important contributions to computing.