Alan Turing – 1936
Alan Turing born 1912. Turing was educated at both Cambridge and Princeton which led him to write multiple papers on computer science. He invented the concept of the problem-solving machine that could execute simple sums, find square roots and solve sudoku puzzles. He later also designed his first concept of ‘Artificial Intelligence’, the idea that computers would be able to ‘think’.
In 1939, the day after Great Britain declared war against Germany, Turing joined Bletchley Park to help decipher German code. At the time, Germany had a communications device called the ‘Enigma Machine’– the number of permutations for this device was in the millions and until Turing’s device was built, it took 5 ½ months to decipher the code.
After the machine was built, it took minutes. Without a doubt, this computer conceptualised by Alan Turing was a critical factor on the Allies winning the war. Some have argued that not only did we finally beat them on the field of battle, but we beat them intellectually too, with people like Alan Turing.
He is now remembered as ‘The codebreaker who saved millions of lives’, unfortunately, this wasn’t the case during his lifetime. However, he is now rightly recognised as a hero and the inventor of the modern computer. A true genius.