This article is part of our series “Vocate’s Wall of Fame”. Each person described in the series is someone who has inspired the Vocate team and who we believe represents what “unlocking human potential” means. Quite literally, the Wall of Fame exists in our office (printed out images framed on the wall) and every week we vote on a new honoree.
Alan Turing was a computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. He is also considered to be instrumental in the development of both theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
However, Turing is perhaps most famous for breaking the German naval Enigma during the Second World War. During the war, he worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. A Polish team led by Marian Rejewski had figured out the internal wiring of Enigma and created a code-breaking machine, but by 1940, the Germans changed operating procedures, and the machine became useless. Thus, Turing and his team were charged with the task of decoding the German cipher once again. At Bletchley Park, Turing led Hut 8 in breaking the German naval cipher with the development of the Bombe, a new code-breaking machine. His work to crack coded Axis naval messages saved over 14 million lives and shortened the war by over two years. After the war, Turing worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE). The ACE is considered to be London’s first computer.
In 1952, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts under the Labouchere Amendment. Now, in 2017, under the Alan Turing law, men who have been cautioned or convicted under legislation that criminalized homosexuality, such as the Labouchere Amendment, are retroactively pardoned.
For more information, follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing