Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Alan #Turing exhibition opens at Bletchley Park

Sir John Dermot Turing with
Alan's statue at Bletchley Park
Sir John Dermot Turing, Alan's nephew, has opened a new exhibition at the British WWII codebreaking base Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing worked, in absolute secrecy during the war. Here Turing and thousands of colleagues cracked the German Naval Enigma code, cracked the more complex German High Command's Lorenz code and in so doing developed the worlds first stored program digital computer, Colossus.
   The new exhibition builds on Bletchley's recent purchase of some of Turing's papers assisted by Google and the National Heritage Memorial Fund, who collaborated to secure funding of more than £300,000 for the papers. Turing's family have also loaned some of his personal items to the exhibition, which are on display for the first time; including his teddy bear, Porgy, his watch and sporting trophies. His nephew, Sir John Dermot Turing, said "it was important for the family that his human side was shown, as well as his mathematical achievements. What this exhibition does is bring together the very few remaining personal artefacts so that you can try and build up a bit more of a human life story to go along with the maths and the codebreaking."
   I visited Bletchley Park last year and found the place fascinating. This new exhibition can only improve what was already a great day out.

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