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Alan Turing

Sculpture of Alan TuringSculpture of Alan Turing Alan Mathison Turing (1912–1954) was an English mathematician and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computers. His plans for what has become known as the "Turing machine", which he described in 1936, demonstrated how computers could work, and is now considered the model on which modern computers are based. During World War II, Turing devised machines that could decipher the Germans' secret messages. Knowledge of the enemy's plans and movements was key to the Allies' success in winning the war.

Code-breaking technology

A working replica of a bombeA working replica of a bombeDuring World War II (1939–45), Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park—Britain's code-breaking centre. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German codes, working with, and improving on, electro-mechanical machines known as bombes to decipher intercepted secret messages that had been encoded by the German Enigma machines. The success Turing's team had in decoding German messages enabled the Allies to defeat Nazi Germany in several crucial battles of World War II.

Automatic Computing Machine

Turing is widely considered to have taken his own life (in 1954) by eating an apple laced with the poison cyanide.

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