Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film "The Imitation Game"
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times-bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.
Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing's life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing's revolutionary idea of 1936--the concept of a universal machine--laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing's leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program--all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.
The inspiration for a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution.
the Bombe in such a way that it had precisely the required effect. No switching operations were required for this; the following of implications could still be achieved by the virtually instantaneous flow of electricity into a connected circuit. Welchman could hardly believe that he had solved the problem, but drew a rough wiring diagram and convinced himself that it would work. Hurrying to the Cottage, he showed it to Alan, who was also incredulous at first, but rapidly became equally excited
laid down from start to finish, and there being no possibility of interference in the process once started. The facility of ‘conditional branching’, in this model, would be analogous to specifying not only the routine tasks of the workers, but the testing, deciding and controlling operations of the management. Babbage was well-placed to perceive this idea, his book On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures being the foundation of modern management. These ideas were a hundred years ahead of
Nonconformist northern middle class being less accommodating to human diversity than was (in private) the more privileged Cambridge establishment. But Manchester had a spark of generosity in its city life, rather than the parochial attitudes of the small town. It had the liberal Manchester Guardian which, along with The Observer, was Alan’s newspaper. And perhaps he found something satisfying about working in ordinary industrial England, without the affectations and traditional rituals that went
quotations express ideas so fundamental, and so characteristic of his thought, that I believe the anachronism of setting them in summer 1945 is justified. (5.20) Quoting from Mrs Turing’s words in EST. This is explicitly given as a nugget of recollection, even if given a maternal gloss of ‘service’. ( I have inserted ‘machine’ for her word ‘computer’, since in this context there is no distinction whatever in meaning, and I do not wish to introduce the word prematurely.) (5.21) Reprinted fully
He did not complete his research into the Skewes problem, which was left as an error-strewn manuscript40 and never taken up by him again. But he continued to pursue the more central problem, that of examining the zeroes of the Riemann zeta-function. The theoretical part, that of finding and justifying a new method of calculating the zeta-function, was finished at the beginning of March, and was submitted for publication.41 This left the computational part to be done. In this respect there had