Courtesy of Facebook, George Takei
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Alan Turing represents different things to different people. He was a mathematician, logician, computer scientist extraordinaire and a persecuted gay man. Today would have been Turing's 100th birthday, and all over the web people are posting images to celebrate the man, his achievements and all he represents to them.
Widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing gained worldwide acclaim during World War II for breaking German ciphers and decoding the Enigma machine. He also created one of the first models for a stored-program computer, the ACE, while working at England's National Physical Laboratory.
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Turing made major advances in mathematical biology and electromechanics, all before the age of 41. In 1952, a criminal prosecution began as a result of Turing's homosexuality, which was still illegal in the United Kingdom. As an alternative to prison, Turing chose to undergo treatment with female hormones, otherwise known as chemical castration.
Shortly thereafter, just after his 42nd birthday, Turing committed suicide by cyanide poisoning. When Turing's body was discovered, there was a half-eaten apple beside his bed. This was believed to be the method by which he consumed the fatal dosage of cyanide. It has since become an symbol of Turing's obstacles, and can be seen in several of the illustrations posted today.
Turing remains a hero today, both for his scientific advances and for what he represents in LGBT history. Tributes to Turing abound on the web, from Reddit to Tumblr to Pinterest. One especially popular post is on George Takei's Facebook page.
Check out these images celebrating Alan Turing's 100th. What do Turing's life and achievements mean to you? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.
- Society & Culture
- Alan Turing