Who Was Alan Turing?

Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a brilliant mathematician, World War II 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.

In 2009, Alan’s family set up The Turing Trust to honour his remarkable legacy.

© Science & Society Picture Library.

"Turing was a quite 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

The Turing Trust was set up by Alan Turing’s family, including his nephew Dermot and his great-nephew James, in memory of his name and legacy. We’re proud to commemorate Alan Turing’s remarkable contribution to the early years of computing with our computer reuse programme, which aims to provide opportunities for volunteers in the UK to improve their own IT skills whilst helping to make technology available to less privileged communities across the world.

In 2022, over 150 volunteers worked with us to securely and safely refurbish your unwanted laptops, computers, tablets and more, helping to provide transformative learning opportunities while saving significant carbon emissions.

With Alan’s name behind us, we are helping to inspire the future of computer science by supporting people to learn vital digital skills. Explore our work here, or learn more about our computer donation programme here.

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Find Out More

Those who have heard of Alan will be aware of his intense intelligence as well as the horrific discrimination 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. During his life he sponsored the education of a World War II refugee at a time when he could scarcely afford to and also funded one of his foster family so that she could 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), one our Trustees, Dermot Turing, has spent years delving into his uncle’s life and offers a unique insight into his life. Or alternatively, 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 Cryptic Codebreaking Puzzle Book.

Click on the links below to find out more. Each purchase of any of these titles through these Amazon Affiliate links helps to raise funds for the Turing Trust.

Alan Turing Books

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How You Can Help

Bitcoin in a wallet

As a tech-inclusion charity you can also support us with donations of all kinds of cryptocurrencies too.

Scottish Government donation

Please click here if you’d like to find out more about donating your IT equipment to enable African students to learn digital skills. 

Skyscanner volunteering day

Our business supporters play a pivotal role in enabling our work by engaging their staff in team volunteering and other activities.

Church of Christ Primary School, Ekwendeni

Find out more about our larger projects that can be tailored to an individual sponsor.