Mathematician:Alan Mathison Turing

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English mathematician who is often considered to be the "father of modern computer science".

Famous for his role in cracking the Enigma cipher in World War II, his conception of the Turing machine and the idea of the Turing test.

Committed suicide as a result of persecution for being different.




  • Born: 23 June 1912, London, England
  • Died: 7 June 1954, Wilmslow, Cheshire, England

Theorems and Definitions

Results named for Alan Mathison Turing can be found here.

Definitions of concepts named for Alan Mathison Turing can be found here.


  • 1935: On the Gaussian error function
  • 1936: On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem (in which the Turing machine was introduced)
  • 1939: Systems of Logic Based on Ordinals
  • 1949: Report of a Conference on High Speed Automatic Calculating Machines
  • 1950: Computing Machinery and Intelligence (in which the Turing test was introduced)

Notable Quotes

The understanding of the theory of a routine may be greatly aided by providing, at the time of construction one or two statements concerning the state of the machine at well chosen points ... In the extreme form of the theoretical method a watertight mathematical proof is provided for the assertions. In the extreme form of the experimental method the routine is tried out on the machine with a variety of initial conditions and is pronounced fit if the assertions hold in each case. Both methods have their weaknesses.
-- Ferranti Mark I Programming Manual ($1950$)