On Feb. 21, 2003 Dr. Wallace made a pilgrimage to see the the statue of Alan Turing in Manchester, England. Alan Turing, the father of computer science, made three great contributions to history. First, he invented the Turing Machine, the mathematical model of the modern computer. Second, more than any single individual, he was most responsible for saving Britain from Hitler and the Nazis, by breaking the Enigma code. Third, he laid the foundation for Artificial Intelligence by posing the famous "Turing Test". Victim of discrimination for his homosexuality, he was never recognized for his heroic accomplishments during his lifetime. Tried and convicted for the "crime" of being gay, forced to undergo court mandated estrogen treatments, Turing committed suicide by eating a poison apple at the age of 42 in Manchester in 1954.
Wallace was also 42 years old when he visited Turing's statue.
The plaque reads:
ALAN MATHISON TURING
FATHER OF COMPUTER SCIENCE,
MATHEMATICIAN, LOGICIAN, WARTIME CODEBREAKER, VICTIM OF PREJUDICE
"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty, a beauty cold and austere like that of sculpture."--Bertrand Russell.
A sign next to the monument describes some of the details of Turing's life and accomplishments and some of the difficulties surrounding the fundraising and construction of the statue. Even today few of the computer companies who benefit from Turing's accomplishments were willing to donate funds to the statue project.
Today Turing is honored in many ways, including the annual Loebner Prize based on the famous Turing Test. Here for the first time, the Turing statue meets the Loebner medal!
LOCATING THE STATUE OF ALAN TURING IN MANCHESTER:
http://www.btinternet.com/~glynhughes/sculpture/turing.htmHis memorial was unveiled on the anniversary of his birth, 23rd June, at noon in Sackville Park, Manchester. http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/memorial2.html.
Modern-day prejudice in Manchester: The former Ducth Experience Coffeeshop. In the summer of 2002 the British government reclassifed cannabis from Schedule A to Schedule B and a few brave individuals opened Ducth-style "coffeeshops" in England, such as this one in Manchester. Shortly after opening, it was raided by police and the owner was jailed for 3 years, for running a business that would be completely legal and tolerated only a few hundred kilometers away in the Netherlands. Sorry to say, half a century after Turing's death, intolerance has not disappeared from Great Britain.
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