Alan Turing: Computing Genius and Wartime Code Breaker by Harry Henderson

By Harry Henderson

This paintings offers the existence and memorable accomplishments of a favourite 20th-century scientist whose notable contributions to his box have garnered around the world appreciate and popularity.

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H. Hardy (1877–1947), probably the most prominent British mathematician; Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), the mathematician who became even better known as a philosopher; and Max M. H. Newman (1897–1984), mathematician and later code breaker and computer pioneer. Other first-rate minds available included John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), the influential economist; and E. M. Forster (1879–1970), the noted novelist and essayist. Moreover, in the next few years, threatened by the Nazi regime of Germany and the fascists of Italy, eminent scholars would flee their homes for freedom and sanctuary in Great Britain and the 14 The Frontiers of Mathematics 15 Arched gateway at King’s College in 1925 (© E.

A simple cipher like this would be very easy to guess, so in practice the ciphering systems in use by the early 20th century had more complicated rules or made a repeated series of substitutions. The Enigma created a very complex mechanical cipher. To send a message, the operator first set three (later four) wheels called rotors so that the letters for that day’s general code key showed in the win- Enigma 43 dow. Next, another code or “indicator” different for each message was used to encode the daily code key, which would appear at the start of the ciphertext message.

Well, so what? You can go on like that until you are black in the face. Why not?  . it is just a useless language-game, and why should anyone be excited? As the only real mathematician in the class, Turing was often called upon to defend his profession. ” Hilbert’s Challenge It so happened one day when Turing was attending one of the foundation lectures that the name David Hilbert came up. Hilbert (1862– 1943), a brilliant German mathematician, had the kind of energy and focus that the new mathematics needed.

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