Turing Centenary: Introduction


Welcome to our library guide celebrating the centenary of Alan Turing's birth. Our 'Turing Centenary' guide showcases a range of library resources which will help you find out more about Alan Turing's life and work. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about any of these resources or if you have any comments about the guide.


Newcastle Turing event

Newcastle University School of Computing Science Seminar

Alan Turing: Computing Pioneer

Wednesday 14th November 2012


Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Alan Turing, the School of Computing Science will host a seminar at which speakers will give presentations on some aspects of his work. The seminar is intended primarily for computing students, but will also be open to members of the public. Our speakers have all made invited contributions to a number of other events in the Alan Turing Year, including major conferences at both Oxford and Cambridge.


Alan Turing: a brief biography

Alan Mathison Turing (1912-1954)

Turing was a pioneer in computing science and wartime code-breaking. 2012 marks the centenary of his birth.

Born in London on 23rd June 1912, the young Alan Turing had a precocious talent for science and mathematics. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge University then Princeton University, New Jersey, USA before publishing his ground-breaking theories on the ‘Turing Machine’ and ‘Universal Turing Machine’ in 1936 – concepts which can today be thought of as a computer program and a modern computer.

During World War II Turing worked secretly part time for the Government Code and Cypher School, Bletchley Park, where he and his team cracked the German Enigma system – in particular deciphering German U-boat messages and so contributing greatly to the winning of the Battle of the Atlantic. Turing was later awarded an OBE for his code-breaking work.

From 1945 to 1948 Turing worked for the National Physical Laboratory in London where in 1946 he produced a first design for an Automatic Computing Engine (ACE). A initial version, called Pilot ACE, was successfully completed in 1950, though  by this time he had moved from NPL to Manchester University. At Manchester he contributed to the pioneering work on electronic computing by Williams and Kilburn, and began to study morphogenesis. From 1949 he continued theorising and publishing in fields which have latterly become known as computing, artificial intelligence and non-linear dynamical theory. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951.

Turing died suddenly in 1954. The far-reaching impact of his theories, his life and his legacy are celebrated in this exhibition.


BBC History, More Information About: Alan Turing. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/alan_turing. (Accessed: 5th November 2012).

Hodges, A. (2004) 'Turing, Alan Mathison (1912-1954)' in Oxford University Press, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Online]. (Accessed: 5th November 2012).

With many thanks to Professor Brian Randell for additional information.