Alan Turing


Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a brilliant mathematician, WW2 code-breaker, founder of computer science, philosopher and theoretical biologist.

His pre-war work laid down the theoretical plan for a programmable computer (On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem) , and after the war he was closely involved in the design and programming of the world’s earliest computing machines. He designed the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) built by the UK Government, wrote programming manuals, published papers on mathematical biology and founded the discipline of artificial intelligence.

Turing was quite a brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on breaking the German Enigma codes… Without his outstanding contribution the history of the Second World War could have been very different.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, 10 September 2009

The Turing Trust is proud to be able to commemorate Alan Turing’s remarkable contribution to the early years of computing by making computers available to less privileged communities in Africa and by enabling volunteers in the UK to sharpen their own IT skills in preparing computers for use in African schools.

The Turing Trust was set up by Alan Turing’s closest family, including his nephew Dermot and his great-nephew James, in memory of his name and legacy. With Alan’s name behind us we are contributing to the future of computer science by supporting people in rural African communities to become computer literate.

We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.’ – Alan Turing

Those who have heard of Alan will be aware of his intense intelligence and the horrific inequalities he faced later in life. However, not many people know about Alan Turing’s philanthropic side. Alan was a great believer in supporting those in need, sponsoring the education of a WWII refugee and funding one of his foster family to work in Africa.

Today we champion Alan’s name to continue his spirit of good will and bring the benefits of the digital revolution to those who need it most.

If you would like to know more about Alan Turing (from a non-mathematical perspective), Dermot Turing has spent a couple of years delving into his uncle’s life and offers a unique insight into his life. If you like a challenge and have ever wondered whether you would have been chosen to work at Bletchley Park then check out the Alan Turing Codebreaker’s Puzzle Book.

Click on the links below and support the Turing Trust as you find out more.

Prof Alan Turing decoded - hardcover and link
Alan Turing Codebreaker's puzzlebook cover and link
Prof: Alan Turing decoded paperback cover and link