Alan Turing’s immense contributions to computer science and computing is still felt today.
Last year Google helped Bletchley Park raise funds to purchase Turing’s papers so they could be preserved for public display in their museum. They’ve gathered an amazing collection of artefacts – including items loaned by GCHQ, that have never before been on public display.
Indeed Turing’s legacy continues to evolve, astonish, challenge and excite. His insights and fearless approach to daunting problems set benchmarks for decades to come.
His clarity of thought and creative genius infused those with whom he worked. His conceptual notions, such as the Universal Turing Machine, provided the basis for serious analysis of computability and decidability.
His practical realisations of computing engines, special systems like the bombe and general purpose ones such as Ace, shed bright light on the feasibility of purposeful computing and lit the way towards the computing rich environment we find in the 21st Century.
Had he lived to see 2012, one wonders what his thoughts might be and what new ideas he would challenge us to think about.
Indeed, 2012 has been dubbed the “Alan Turing year” by the scientific community, with a series of events and lectures taking place all over the world.