ALAN TURING: THE FATHER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

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ALAN TURING: THE FATHER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

On 23rd June 1912 at Paddington, London, Alan Turing was born. The child of a Briton who worked in the Indian Civil service, Julius Mathison Turing and Ethel Sara Stoney, who had married in India, would become who the world calls the Father of Computer Science.

Though he rose to become a brilliant mathematician who contributed in turning the tide of the Second World War, Alan did not get the best out of his early school days in learning. Just after he was sent to school his parents removed him because he did not seem to be obtaining anything. He was later admitted at the Hazlehurst Preparatory School, where his performance seemed average in most subjects but he had a tendency of following his own ideas, which made him stand out from other pupils of his age. He played chess and joined the debate team of his school.

In 1926 he joined the Sherburne School after having passed his Common Entrance exam, the same year when there was a general strike. During the strike Turing would cycle 60 miles from home to school which made him fit to the standards of an Olympics athlete. He did not like the setting of the public schools, the same case with many original thinkers who were against the idea of conventional schooling. His thinking led him to different directions from those that his teachers were taking.

He had a poor handwriting which made teachers always complain; he was also weak in English and mathematics, he mainly concentrated on his own ideas from which he always tried to provide solutions for existing problems. Although he always produced unconventional answers, he always won most of the prizes in mathematics at his school. From an early age he had shown interest in chemistry and when he got the chance in school, he carried out experiments with his own agenda, but this did not always go well for him with the teachers.

At school, his headmaster suggested in a comment that due to his interests Turing would rather not be in a Public School, “If he is to stay in a public school, he must aim at becoming educated. If he is to be solely a Scientist, he is wasting his time at a Public School”. On his own Turinglearnt deep mathematics though his teachers were not aware, he read Einstein’s papers on relativity and also researched about quantum mechanics in Eddington`s “The nature of the physical world”.

In 1928, something that would greatly change Turing’s life happened, he became friends with Christopher Morcom, a pupil who was a class above him and together they worked on their scientific ideas. For the first time Turing had found someone who appreciated his ideas and with whom they could share thought and ideas together. However this feeling was soon to be shattered in 1930 when Morcom died, a very sad moment in life for Turing.

Having persevered difficult school years, Turing joined King`s College in Cambridge to take a course in mathematics. His journey to the King`s College was not without difficulty, on his first attempt in the scholarship examinations in 1929, he failed to win a scholarship but won an exhibition but on his second try, the following year he was successful getting the scholarship. College was a relief for Turing because it gave room for people with unconventional ideas like his, this gave Turing a chance to explore his own ideas and he also got to read Russell`s Introduction to mathematical philosophy, he also read Von Neumann’s article on quantum mechanics, a con.............


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