My husband, an ardent computer geek, and billions of other people worldwide owe Alan Turing overflowing gratitude. It is in this light that Google has decided to honor him with a doodle featuring a live action Turing Machine with twelve interactive programming puzzles.
Alan Turing was an English mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst who played a major role in the development of computer science. He formalized the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing Machine which then paved the way to the creation of the modern computer. Without a shred of doubt, Turing is the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.
Turing was a homosexual who faced criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted chemical castration, or treatment with female hormones, as an alternative to prison. On 10 September 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated”.
At the age of 41, Turing died from cyanide poisoning. Results from an inquest show that his death was suicidal, although his family and some others believe it was accidental.