New Delhi: Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, described Alan Turing as "The man challenged everyone's thinking." And the doodle that Google has posted on its home page to honour the father of computing Alan Turing's 100th birth anniversary will also set you thinking.
Alan Mathison Turing was a British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of the German Enigma cipher during World War II.
The Alan Turing Google doodle is inspired by the Turing machine, conceptualised by Alan Turing in 1936. The device is used to simulate the logic of a computer algorithm and is helpful in explaining the functioning of a CPU.
The Turing Google doodle is an interactive doodle that involves six tasks to be performed successfully and with each successful step one letter of the Google logo gets filled with colour.
Alan Turing was born on June 23, 1912 in London, England, his father was an Indian Civil Services officer during the British rule.
Turing graduated with mathematics from King's College, University of Cambridge in 1934.
During the Second World War he joined the British Government's Code and Cypher School and for his efforts in helping break the cryptic messages used by the Germans during the war he was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire.
After the war, Turing joined the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) where he designed and developed an electronic computer. He later quit the NPL to head the Computing Machine Laboratory where he designed the Ferranti Mark I which was the first electronic digital computer to be commercially available.
Turing was also a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. In 1950 he proposed, what was later known as the Turing test, a criterion to test whether a machine can think.
In 1952, two years before he died of cyanide poisoning on June 7, 1954, Alan Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then a crime in UK and was sentenced to a year of treatment with female hormones (chemical castration). This led to Turing losing his security clearance and he was unable to continue his work.
In 2009 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised for the treatment meted to Alan Turing for homosexuality.
The Turing Award, named after Alan Turing, is considered to be the highest distinction in computer science and is also referred to as the Nobel Prize of computing. Google and Intel are two of the sponsors of the award
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