Learn About Alan Turing – A Biography Book Review

Alan Turing, a British Mathematician, was the Grandfather of Artificial Intelligence and the Father of Computer Science. His legacy in that regard may live on forever. During his time, and you may know this already, he was one of the folks that cracked the enigma code. The German U-boat Enigma cipher in World War II, that the Germans believed could not be broken, and it changed the course of the war and human history.

Now let me recommend a couple of books, biographies of historical significance of about this great mind, both are very good and if you are into philosophy, computer science or mathematics, then you should have these on your shelf at home or work:

“The Man Who Knew Too Much: Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer” by David Leavitt; Atlas Publishing (2006); ISBN: 978-0393329094

“Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges, with Introduction by Douglas Hofstadter; Walker & Company; UK (2000). ISBN: 978-0802775801

Alan Turing is also famous for his “Turing test” for machine intelligence, later called Artificial Intelligence. He is a very interesting figure, an Enigma in himself. He had a Princeton Ph.D. and became famous for his war work and a decade after the war he was arrested for homosexuality, striped of security clearances, and in 1954 he committed suicide by taking cyanide.

His mathematical based philosophy was truly incredible. His problem solving methods were indeed revolutionary, and his achievements intense, especially how he reasoned and considered how he would go about creating an unbreakable code, then working that concept backwards for clues to the code. The mind of the mathematician trying to find unsolvable problems and then solving them is one that Alan Turing is noted for.

He reasoned and questioned; can a problem be solved by computation; is it decidable, using math, or not? Many problems are not solvable by math, but a super mathematician would often argue that “almost all problems are solvable by math.” You must know of this great mind, and you’ll surely rank him up with Einstein. I hope you will enjoy these books.

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