Alan Turing (1912–1954) was an English mathematician, logician, pioneer of computer science, and wartime code-breaker. He is credited with creating a design for the Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), the early electronic stored-program computer, as well as the Bombe—a decryption device that the British government used during WWII to crack the German “Enigma,” machine, which encrypted secret messages.
Jack Copeland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where he is Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing. His recent biography Turing: Pioneer of the Information Age draws on many years of conversations with Turing’s closest friends and colleagues, and he explores the complex character of this shy genius as well as describing the breadth and importance of Turing’s legacy. Copeland’s other books include The Essential Turing; Artificial Intelligence; Colossus—The Secrets of Bletchley Park’s Codebreaking Computers; and Alan Turing’s Electronic Brain.
He joins us on Culture Insight to share his insight into the life and work of Alan Turing.