A cryptographer is a person who creates or deciphers the encryption code that protects data. Computer-encrypted data is protected by extremely long, complex encryption methods that are extremely difficult and time-consuming to crack. But do you know who Alan Turing is?
Alan Turing is the cryptographer who cracked the Nazi Enigma code during WWII. He was also an Olympic-level runner who invented a new field of biology based on his passion for daisies.
The Life of Alan Turing
Alan Turing was an English mathematician, logician, and cryptographer who broke the Nazi Enigma code during World War II, giving the Allies the edge they needed to win the war in Europe and paving the way for the computer.
Turing’s most famous work is as a computer scientist today. He came up with the concept for the Universal Turing Machine, which would later become the foundation for the first computer in 1936. In 1950, he created an artificial intelligence test that is still used today.
But, mainly as a young man, he studied physics. As a teenager, he studied Einstein’s theory of relativity and instantly began writing down his views and ideas on the issue. After the war, he dabbled in quantum physics, which was a new science at the time, and biology, chemistry, and neurology. Much of this effort was focused on developing robots that could learn and “think,” but it also included some exploration of the world.
The public had no idea what he had done to the war effort when he died. Turing was officially pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II sixty years later.
Turing committed suicide in 1954, two years after being revealed to be gay. Turing was convicted of “indecency” and died by eating a cyanide-laced apple in Great Britain, where homosexuality was still illegal. He was only 41 years old at the time. (Source: PBS News Hour)
What is Alan Turing’s Sexuality?
Turing was not allowed to be publicly gay at the time due to legislation, yet he never kept his sexuality hidden. Hodges stated he was open with his social networks at Kings College in Cambridge.
After a brief relationship with another guy, he was arrested and charged with indecency in 1952. He did not deny the charges, despite his defiance.
When he was arrested, the first thing he said was he thought that this shouldn’t be against the law, He gave a statement that was unapologetic, that detailed what had happened.Andrew Hodges, Author of the Autobiography; Alan Turing: The Enigma
Chemical castration, a series of hormone injections that rendered Turing impotent, was the punishment for homosexuality. It also caused gynecomastia, which resulted in him developing breasts. Turing, on the other hand, refused to let the treatment deter him from his work, maintaining his upbeat attitude.
Even in the macho environment of the computer lab, he openly discussed the trial. He sneered at the law’s insanity. He flew to Norway and the Mediterranean in defiance, where gay rights initiatives were forming.
Turing’s security clearance was revoked after his conviction for homosexuality, which was considered a security risk. That was a heavy blow, and Hodges believes Turing committed suicide once he was no longer allowed to leave the country. (Source: PBS News Hour)