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Alan Turing was born in London on 23 June 1912 He was the son of JuliusMathius Turing and Ethel Sara Stoney the youngest of three children he wasborn to a distinguished family His family background includes diplomats andengineers three of which succeeded to the Royal SocietyAlan turing was educated at Sherbourne school from 1923 to 1931 Afterwhich he studied mathematics at Kings College Cambridge graduating in1935 with a BA He was elected a fellow of the college on the strengthof his paper On the Gaussian error function it won a Smiths prize formathematics in 1936 Turing was brilliant and slightly headstrong hediscovered the central limit theorem for himself after it had been alreadydiscovered and proved Later in 1936 he went to the United States ofAmerica to study at Princeton University for two years with AlonsoChurch Turing worked on the theory of computation and in 1937 hepresented the paper for which he was to become famous to the LondonMathematical Society The paper On computable numbers with anpplication to the Entscheidungsproblem proved that a class ofmathematical problems existed which could not be solved by automaticmachines and introduced the concept of a theoretical universalcomputing machine the Turing machine Turing was awarded a PhD degreefor this paper by Princeton UniversityAlan Turing returned to Kings College in 1938 and when war broke out in1939 he began work for the government code and cipher school atBletchley Park In 1946 Turing was awarded an OBE for designingmachines to break the German Enigma codes After the war Turing declinedffer of a lectureship at Cambridge to join the mathematics division of theNational Physics Laboratory at Teddington where he began to design thegeneral computer called the Automatic Computing Engine ACE In 1948Turing was appointed reader in the theory of computation at the University ofManchester and made assistant director of Manchester Automatic Digital MachineTwo years later Turing published a paper in Mind entitled computingmachinery and intelligence In the paper Turing concluded that by hisdefinition of thinking
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