Click poster to enlarge.
Boyoboy this ought to be quite the corroboree. I would chop off one or two digits to be there. I don't care how little of the lectures I understood. And it would be my second visit to the Holy Scientific & Mathematical Shrine of Cambridge (my first was a pilgrimage to worship Isaac Newton).
If you like the way World War II, at least the Western Hemisphere part of it, turned out, this is one of the big guys to thank. He led the Bletchley Park team of cryptographers who broke the German Enigma machine code in which all military information was sent.
The problem required the design and construction of the world's first high-speed electronic digital computer. Breaking Enigma is specifically credited with rescuing Allied shipping convoys across the North Atlantic from German U-Boat (Untersee-Boot) wolf packs. The Germans were so confident in their amazing Enigma code machine that they never imagined it was possible to decrypt it. But through most of the war, Bletchley Park could read all the German military radio signals, eventually with a 24-hour turnaround time.
Turing's work expanded on early Enigma code-breaking solutions by Polish mathematicians and logicians, who built electromechanical computing machines called "bombes," because they went tick-tick-tick. When Poland fell, their work was smuggled to the British, and Turing's supervision.
Today Turing is regarded as the theoretical patriarch of digital computation.
A wonderful theater drama about Turing's remarkable life and achievements is called "Breaking the Code," and perhaps the Centenary will resurrect new performances of it. If so, don't miss it.