Turing celebrations planned for 2012

Alan Turing

Celebrations are being planned for the centenary of mathematician Alan Turing (1912 - 1954). Turing came to King's in 1931 as an undergraduate, and was elected a Fellow in 1935. He was a pioneer of computer science and is sometimes referred to as the 'father of modern computing'.

The celebrations include conferences, lectures, an education day at Bletchley Park, and a relay race between Ely and Cambridge, along the route that Turing trained for his marathons. King's is hosting a conference in June 2012 that will look at Turing's contributions to computing.

The events are being coordinated by The Turing Centenary Advisory Committee (TCAC), an international collection of academics and cultural organisations including the Science Museum and Bletchley Park. You can find a list of the organisers as well as details of the year's events on the TCAC website.

Turing is best remembered for his wartime work at Bletchley Park, where he helped decipher the code created by German Enigma machines. He invented the Turing test, a way of measuring a computer’s ability to simulate human intelligence, and the universal computing device, now known as the Turing machine.

In 1952, however, his career ended when he admitted a sexual relationship with a man. He was found guilty of 'gross indecency' and in 1954 he killed himself. Last year, the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a posthumous apology to Alan Turing for the 'appalling' treatment he received for being gay.

After his death, Turing's family gave photographs, documents and copies of Turing's publications to King's College. The Turing family have continued to donate documents to the King's Archive Centre, and you can see many of these online at The Turing Digital Archive.

24 June 2010