Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew HodgesAlan Turing (1912-54) was a British mathematician who made history. His breaking of the German U-boat Enigma cipher in World War II ensured Allied-American control of the Atlantic. But Turings vision went far beyond the desperate wartime struggle. Already in the 1930s he had defined the concept of the universal machine, which underpins the computer revolution. In 1945 he was a pioneer of electronic computer design. But Turings true goal was the scientific understanding of the mind, brought out in the drama and wit of the famous Turing test for machine intelligence and in his prophecy for the twenty-first century.
Drawn in to the cockpit of world events and the forefront of technological innovation, Alan Turing was also an innocent and unpretentious gay man trying to live in a society that criminalized him. In 1952 he revealed his homosexuality and was forced to participate in a humiliating treatment program, and was ever after regarded as a security risk. His suicide in 1954 remains one of the many enigmas in an astonishing life story.
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Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film, is credited as the father of computer science. Christopher, an older student at Sherborne School in Dorset, was also interested in math. Turing harbored feelings toward Christopher, though Turing believed his love was not reciprocated. In reality, Turing had been told his friend was sick and to prepare for the worst before Christopher passed. In the year after his death, Turing wrote an essay in which he discussed how the soul might survive after death with a nod to the new field of quantum mechanics. Alan Turing was gay at a time when homesexual activity was outlawed in England. He was sentenced to probation that involved chemical castration see more below and committed suicide within two years with cyanide.
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The film follows the pioneering code breaker and his team at Bletchley Park in a race against time to break the German Enigma code during the darkest days of World War II. Cumberbatch stars as the esoteric outsider, a tortured genius-like character he has often played before in Sherlock , The Fifth Estate and the forthcoming film Black Mass. After his time at Bletchley Park, he was prosecuted for homosexuality and accepted treatment with oestrogen injections as an alternative to prison. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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The screenplay topped the annual Black List for best unproduced Hollywood scripts in It was released theatrically in the United States on 28 November The film was criticised by some for its inaccurate portrayal of historical events and for downplaying Turing's homosexuality. In , two policemen, Nock and Staehl, investigate the mathematician Alan Turing after an apparent break-in at his home. In , the young Turing is unhappy and bullied at boarding school. He develops a friendship with Christopher Morcom, who sparks his interest in cryptography. Turing develops romantic feelings for him, but Christopher soon dies from tuberculosis.