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Turing Centenary: 2012

The Alan Turing YearAlan Mathison Turing (King’s 1931): 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954

Best known for his wartime work deciphering the Enigma machine's code, Turning is also referred to as 'the father of modern computing'. The centenary of his birth has inspired a vast range of events, projects and publications in the UK and across the world.  We have collated a few of these here.


18 - 23 June 2012 - Computability in Europe (CiE)'s Turing Centenary Conference: How the World Computes, University of Cambridge. CiE 2012 will celebrate Turing's unique impact on mathematics, computing, computer science, informatics, morphogenesis, philosophy and the wider scientific world. Further information about the conference is available from the conference webpages on the Centenary website.

22 June 2012 - free public lecture by Dr Andrew Hodges (Corpus Christi 1967) entitled '100 years of Alan Turing, 1000000 years of the computer'. The lecture will take place in the Babbage Lecture Theatre, no booking required; for further details, please see the 'What's On' listing here.

23 June 2012 - the Mayor of Cambridge will unveil a commemorative blue plaque in front of King's College on 23 June 2012.  Read more in the University's news story here.

The Enigma Project, based on the code-breaking activities of Turing and others at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, is part of the University's Millennium Maths Project, aimed at inspiring students in maths, science and history through codes and code-breaking.

Books and publications

Alan M. Turing Centenary Edition - republished by Cambridge University Press, to commemorate the centenary of his birth, this volume has a new foreword by Martin Davis and previously unseen memoir by Turing's older brother. Read more about the book.

Alumnus Dr Andrew Hodges is the author of Turing: a Natural Philosopher and Alan Turing: the Enigma. Described as "one of the finest scientific biographies ever written," the latter has been republished for the 2012 centenary with a new preface. Dr Hodges also maintains a detailed website of other 'Turing Studies' information, written both by himself and others: www.turing.org.uk

The article ‘In numbers we trust’ featured in CAM 65 (p22) discusses the impact of Turing's 1937 paper 'On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem' on the mathematical world.

Read In numbers we trust (CAM 65)

Computability (published by IOS Press) is the new peer-reviewed international journal inspired by Turing that takes a multidisciplinary approach to the subject, launched by Computability in Europe (see above). More information about the journal is available on the publisher's website.

Online and social media

Full information about the Alan Turing Year (ATY) Centenary celebrations and the organising committee is available from the website http://www.turingcentenary.eu/  You can also follow them on facebook or on Twitter (@AlanTuringYear).

The Turing digital archive contains nearly 3,000 images of Turing ephemera held in the Archives Centre at King's College. The site also has a useful list of recommended reading about Turing.