Bayes Centre News: The Bayes Centre celebrates the contributions and work of Alan Turing
As part of this year’s LGBTQ+ history month, we want to highlight the life and work of an important historical figure – Alan Turing, a computer scientist widely known for cracking the Enigma Code, which helped to put an end to the Second World War. Persecuted for his sexual orientation, Alan Turing’s life and work is an important example of the contributions that LGBTQ+ people have made to our society.
Alan Mathison Turing, British mathematician and logician, was born in Maida Vale, London on 23rd June, 1912, and two years before the First World War.
Turing attended the University of Cambridge in 1931 to study mathematics. Additionally, in 1938, he got his PhD from the Department of Mathematics at Princeton University.
During the Second World War, Turing went to Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, to work for the Government Code and Cypher School. During his time there, Turing and his fellow code-breakers, designed a code breaking machine referred to as the Bombe.
This machine was capable of breaking Enigma messages on a large scale. Turing played a significant role in cracking coded messages.
Throughout his life and work, Turing pioneered mathematics and computer science. He is regarded by many as the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Turing faced much hardship throughout his life because of his sexual orientation. In 1952, Turing was arrested for “gross indecency”. He was faced with two cruel choices - imprisonment or probation if he underwent chemical castration. Two years later, Turing died from suicide.
The Bayes Centre
The Bayes Centre is the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence (AI). The technical strengths brought together in the Bayes Centre builds on world-leading academic excellence in the mathematical, computational, engineering, and natural sciences. Through close collaboration with a range of industry and public sector partners, the Bayes Centre supports the translation of research to maximise the benefit these innovative technologies bring to society.