Alan Turing: The computing pioneer's life and works, in photos

Alan Turing: The computing pioneer's life and works, in photos

Summary: The Science Museum in London is celebrating the centenary of computing pioneer Alan Turing, whose work helped shorten World War II, laid the groundwork for modern computers, and set the standard test for artificial intelligence

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  • The Pilot ACE built from Turing's designs

    After the war, Turing worked on developing a computer at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington. He left the project in 1948, but a trial version of the Pilot ACE computer (pictured) was completed in 1950 from Turing's fundamental designs.

    Described by the Science Museum as "the most significant surviving Turing artefact", the Pilot ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) was one of the first electronic universal computers.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL


    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

  • Fuselage from the wreckage of a Comet aircraft

    The Pilot ACE computer was used to investigate a series of fatal air crashes involving Comet aircraft in the 1950s. The cause of the crashes was subsequently found to be metal fatigue.

    This piece of fuselage (pictured) is from a Comet that crashed in 1954 into the Mediterranean near Italy, killing 35.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL


    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

  • Model of vitamin B12

    Chemist Dorothy Hodgkin used the Pilot ACE computer in research into the structure of vitamins, using it to help devise this model of vitamin B12 (pictured), presented to the Science Museum in 1959.

    Credit: Science Museum/SSPL 


    Alan Turing: 10 ideas beyond Enigma.

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Topics: After Hours, Security

Tom Espiner

About Tom Espiner

Tom is a technology reporter for ZDNet.com. He covers the security beat, writing about everything from hacking and cybercrime to threats and mitigation. He also focuses on open source and emerging technologies, all the while trying to cut through greenwash.

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  • Turing was a hero in more ways than just computing. George Takei of Star Trek fame shared this on his Facebook page...
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=480796475283144&set=a.223098324386295.105971.205344452828349&type=1&theater
    ChicoThorn