Friday, March 10, 2017

"Alan Turing: The Enigma": Read It.

Written by: Sylvia Sochacki

Do you have an interest in math? Science? Biographies? Overall incredibly cool, world changing people? Then pick up this brick of a book that explores the genius behind the victory of World War II that is one hundred and ten percent worth the time it takes to read - Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. No matter your interest or level of capability in math or science, any person who respects the immaculate would enjoy this biography. Even if you strictly read fiction and have zero interest in the lives of the world’s dearly departed, you’ll still love this book! Alan Turing, “Atheist, homosexual, eccentric, marathon-running English mathematician, A. M. Turing was in large part responsible not only for the concept of computers, incisive theorems about their powers, and a clear vision of the possibility of computer minds, but also for the cracking of German ciphers during the Second World War” (Hodges). This man is the inventor of the modern computer and artificial intelligence, not to mention his middle name was Mathison and he was a mathematician. His tragic backstory will send the most cynical of people to tears; the story of a young gay british boy dealing with the loss of his only true friend, while constantly dealing with the cruelty of the classic British school yard bully. The same school yard bullies that continue being school yard bullies even out of the school yard. However, through his hardships he remained openly gay in conservative England while striving in his intellectual brilliance. The book itself is written by Andrew Hodges who is also a mathematician and currently teaches mathematics at Oxford. Inside one will find personal letter correspondence between Turing and his friends and family, as well as other primary sources. Although this book is rather monstrous in size, it is completely worth the extra weight in your backpack and the continuous stream of renewals at the library.

Recommended playlist to listen to while reading this: Turing was one of the first to figure out how to program music on the computer using a synthesizer. The original recordings were found and restored. Enjoy “God Save The Queen”, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, and “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

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