An Annotated List of Alan Turing Year Resources
The useful list of resources below is provided to
help organisers of Alan Turing Year activities. The list is
growing all the time. If you have information to help to
improve its usefulness, please send further information, comments etc. to:
pmt6sbc @ leeds.ac.uk
- Andrew Hodges:
Mathematical physicist, authoritative writer and speaker on the life and work of
Turing. Author of biography
Alan Turing: the enigma.
Maintains the Alan Turing Home Page,
which contains a huge amount of Turing-related information supplementing what
is given on this list.
Will be much in demand as a speaker on Turing in 2012, but will need to limit
commitments due to ongoing research projects. Has already agreed to speak at
CiE 2012: Turing Centenary Conference in
- Jack Copeland:
Philosopher, speaker, writer, has written/edited a number of books
and articles on Turing.
Director of the
Turing Archive for the History of Computing,
an extensive online archive. Always an interesting and extremely knowlegeable,
if at times provocative,
speaker. One of his planned ATY events is ACE 2012, successor to the
conference which was the basis for his book Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine: The
Master Codebreaker's Struggle to Build the Modern Computer.
- Bletchley Park:
Important historical connections to Turing, cryptanalysis and
the history of the computer, packed with interesting reminders
of its World War II decryption history.
Hosts the National Museum of
Computing. A prime venue for
conference and personal Turing-connected trips. Also hosts
meetings for up to around 100 participants. Bletchley will
be a very busy place in 2012, so the advice is to book your
conference trip or event early.
- Sue Black:
Founder of the
Saving Bletchley Park campaign, and of
Here is a
link to a video of one of her
talks, given at Europython 2009,
Director of Bletchley Park, speaking first. And here is
Sue's interview with
Aleks Krotoski at the
Guardian's Tech Weekly about
the successful campaign to buy the Max Newman
collection of Turing's papers for their new home
at Bletchley Park. Also Sue
interviewed on Radio
5 Outriders, and the
Europython 2009 Keynote Speech on
given by Simon Greenish (ex- director of Bletchley Park) and Sue (thanks to
Mark Cotton for edits).
- Matthew C. Applegate:
researcher into the sound capabilities of computers.
Recently performed at Bletchley Park,
to standing room only, his composition
Obsolete?, using the sounds of the
Colossus and other early computing machines.
Obsolete? was commissioned by The National Museum of Computing,
and supported by the Performing Rights Society Foundation.
A number of musicians have made Turing-influenced recordings:
• From Newcastle, Mammal
introduced by Tom Robinson on his BBC6music show
as being about Alan Turing.
• Baltimore experimental duo
have a tour-only 3" CD
Turing - hopefully re-available for 2012
of Song for
Alan Turing, broke up in the late
Artist, theorist, programmer. Maintains the
homepage of his
Manchester Mark I emulator
which currently runs Christopher Strachey's
program from 1952 in its original form. To quote Andrew Hodges "he is a wonderful
presenter as well as a tireless investigator". And here is a
clip from a 2004 joint concert by David Link, FM Einheit and Jamie Lidell
Maintains an informative website on
Alan Turing and morphogenesis.
Can speak entertainingly on the topic, as he did at
2004: A celebration of his life and achievements.
- S. Barry
Lectures and writes on Turing's seminal work on
including his work related to incomputability and its consequences
for how the real world computes. Talked on The Incomputable Alan Turing at
2004: A celebration of his life and achievements. Here is a rather
version, delivered to an audience of 370 at
the Courtauld Lecture, Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society,
at the Royal Northern College of Music in February, 2011.
He is author of the standard text
Computability Theory, and President of the Association
Computability in Europe.
- Dennis A.
and lecturer in areas
away from the
more traditional Turing areas, but his Turing overlap
comes in along the avenue of zeta functions
and such. And it is his nice article
A Bit Off the Beaten Path
which guarantees his place on this list. This article was edited by
who has written and done radio interviews arising from it - and has provided
these examples of Turing coverage outside the English speaking world:
1 (in Dutch),
2 (in French),
3 (in Dutch again).
Feferman: Ex-student of Alfred Tarski and winner of the
Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy for 2003, Sol Feferman
is a key figure in the proof-theoretic developments arising from
Turing's famous 1939 paper. Sol's article
the land of 0(z) (in The Universal Turing Machine. A Half-century Survey,
pp. 113-147, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 1988)
gives a good introduction to his take on Turing. An excellent and
thoughtful speaker, of course.
Teuscher: Author, editor, speaker. Edited the important Springer collection
Life and Legacy of a Great Thinker , and authoritative writer on
Connectionism: An Investigation of Neural Network Architectures.
An interesting and lively speaker.
Researcher, writer and lecturer on the early history of the computer --
particularly concerning the work to build a computer at the University of
Manchester immediately after the end of WWII.
Has led the development of the Newman Digital Archive, and
worked on the
Turing Archive for the
History of Computing.
- Robert I.
Soare: Leading instigator of the movement to reconnect classical
computaility theory with Turing's wide-ranging concern with issues
of computability in the real world. The new version of his graduate text, now
entitled Computability Theory and Applications is expected to appear
in the new CiE/Springer series Theory and Applications of Computability
in the run-up to the Turing Centenary celebrations. Author of a number of carefully researched
History and Concept of
Computability, with plenty of Turing relevance.
Unique lecturing style.
- The Colonnade
Hotel: On Sunday 23 June, 1912, Alan Turing was born in Warrington Lodge, a nursing home
in Paddington, now refurbished as the Colonnade Hotel.
On what would have been Turing's
86th birthday, 23 June 1998,
an official Blue Plaque was unveiled there by Turing's biographer, Andrew Hodges.
In 1935 the hospital was converted into The Esplanade Hotel.
Sigmund Freud stayed at the hotel during the summer of 1938
when he was renovating his house in Hampstead.
the Colonnade brochure.
Descendants: Turing had just one PhD student,
Gandy, but through Robin has over 100 academic descendants. These include
quite a number who can be expected to give interesting talks or writings
related to Turing and his legacy -
a very partial list (mainly TCAC members): Martin Hyland,
S. Barry Cooper.
Singh: Author, journalist and TV producer, specialising in science and mathematics.
Proud owner of an Enigma machine, which he does lend - see
The Enigma Project.
And he will give occasional lectures, particularly related to his book
The Code Book -
The Secret History of Codes and Code Breaking. See his page on the
and some clips of Simon
explaining how the Enigma machine worked.
to No. 10 did more than anything else,
and well beyond the UK too, to raise the profile of Turing and draw attention to
the Turing Centenary - see his
in the New Scientist. The
promptness and obvious sincerity of the
to Turing from the
Prime Minister only added momentum to the drive for better recognition
of Turing's achievements and scientific legacy. We believe that John's
initiative and celebrity - he has been doing a great job for Turing in the media -
gives him a valuable role in the run-up to 2012.
Kettle: Sculptor Stephen Kettle's interest
in Alan Turing is brilliantly expressed in his
Bletchley Park sculpture of
the great man. The one and a half ton life-size statue
is made of around half a million individual pieces of Welsh slate,
and has attracted a lot of media attention, being featured on a
Royal Mail stamp.
Stephen is often happy to talk about the thoughts and processes
involved in creating his unique work.
There are, around the world, other artistic commemorations of Turing.
For instance, there is the
Turing Memorial in Sackville Park, Manchester, by
sculptor Glyn Hughes. And there is (see left) the
sculpture honoring Turing by sculptor Wayne Chabre, about three feet high,
adorning the Computer Science building at the University of Oregon.
See more info. from Professor Eugene Luks.
And there is a large statue of Turing (also left) at the University of Surrey,
in Guildford, where Turing's parents lived.
by Ingrid Zamecnikova
from Bratislava, is
planned to become a permanent feature of the reconstructed entrance hall of
the computer science building of the Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich)
from 2012. See the old TCAC
Arts and Culture Subcommittee page for
other Turing-related images.
Wagstaff: Composer Julian Wagstaff has written
Turing Test, a chamber opera for 6 voices and 12 musicians.
The opera received its first performance on 15th August 2007 as
part of a five-night sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The premiere production was cited as a cultural highlight of
2007 by the novelist Alexander McCall Smith in the Daily
Telegraph's review of the year. View an
Expect a revival of the opera during the Turing Centenary!
- SALERO Project and
SALERO, co-funded by the European Union through the IST programme under FP6
until 2009, was responsible for the Crucible Studio and Helsinki Skaala Opera
Turing Machine opera,
based on the life
of Alan Turing, and premiered in Helsinki in April 2008; and also for the
Turing Enigma chatterbot,
whereby "the user can play the role of
the cryptologist and engage in discussions with Alan Turing's spirit".
For 2012 Crucible plans, contact
Tuomola or Tea Stolt. The
Turing Machine opera
received rave reviews in Finland, and is available
for touring in the lead-up to 2012 -
contact producer Aija Kelly at
- Barry Truax
a composer, and Professor at Simon Fraser University teaching
acoustic communication and electroacoustic composition, and specializing in
real-time implementations of granular synthesis, often of sampled sounds, and soundscapes.
He created Cambridge Street Records in 1985.
2010 saw the world premier in Vancouver of his composition
Enigma, The Life and Death of Alan Turing,
a music theatre piece in five scenes, written for three singers, a
dancer, and six-channel electroacoustic soundscape. He is open to proposals for
Alan Turing Year performances.
Rijmenants' Cipher Machine Simulations:
Dirk maintains a webpage of well-researched
historical and technical information about crypto machines,
cryptology and free software simulations.
There are high-quality
images, and - the main Turing interest - a superb collection
of information on the
Machine, including a
page, and a free
Jin is a very creative graphic artist from Houston, Texas, who has given us
a by-now famous
image of Alan Turing (click on it to see a larger version):
Jin has agreed to non-commercial use of her work for the Alan
Turing Year. So feel free to download and use the jpeg file
in connection with the 2012 centenary,
but please do not amend the image in any way (except
for resizing), and keep the signature. You might even credit her,
link to her webpage,
donate at her
Crap I Drew On My Lunch Break page.
See the article
Turing's Life in a Print by Jin Wicked by Andrew Hodges for more
information about Jin and her Turing graphic.
We have the UK artist Danny Rogers to thank for this fine
new portrait of Alan Turing (click on it to see a larger version, 1.5MB):
Danny has agreed to non-commercial use of his work for the Alan
Turing Year. So feel free to download and use the jpeg file
in connection with the 2012 centenary,
but please do not amend the image in any way (except
for resizing). The image should be accompanied by the mention of the
permission of the
artist for the Alan Turing Year, and "© Daniel Rogers".
another portrait of Turing (1.5MB) by Danny.
Prints of Danny's work are available from the
Originals can be purchased via his current promoter
The artist's own online gallery.
- Online Turing program simulations: There is a wide range of
online incarnations of Turing programs. Here are a few caught our
• Mike Davey's A Turing
Machine - In the Classic Style - to be found all over the web ...
Tiles of Ghica and Peter van Emde Boas
• The Lego
Turing Machine from
Lego of Doom
• From artist
Verostko we have
A Universal Turing Machine
Self Portrait - which was later followed by
Manchester Illuminated Universal Turing Machine
• And - a whole extensive topic in itself - there are the
with their practical approach to passing the Turing Test -
supported by competitions such as
Challenge and the
- Turing in literature: Many examples, just a selection:
• Top of the list, of course, is Hugh Whitemore's
Breaking the Code - see
The Alan Turing Internet
• From leading computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou we have
(A Novel about Computation) - here's a
from American Scientist
• Greg Egan's
an alternate history featuring Alan Turing and C. S. Lewis (with Greg Egan
making a cameo appearance as the young friend "who turned out to have
a PhD in algebraic
geometry from Cambridge")
renamed and re-imagined
• More to follow ...
- Films related to Turing: The best list is available via
Turing Centenary Film Series webpage - here is their list, with links to their
descriptions and details of how to obtain copies for purchase or rental:
Breaking the Code
Decoding Nazi Secrets
The Strange Life and Death of Dr Turing
The Secret Life of Chaos
Decoding Alan Turing
(N. American distribution by Frameline -
see the director Christopher Racster's webpage)
Breaking the Codes: Rise Of Enigma / Triumph Of The Codebreakers
- Stephen Wolfram, author of
New Kind of Science,
is developer of the computer algebra system
Mathematica, and is co-founder and majority
Stephen Wolfram's interest in and support for the Alan Turing Year
can be seen in his 2010
Turing birthday blog,
and his own research carries forward the
Turing legacy in a number of ways. Wolfram Research are actively supporting
various Turing Centenary events.
Stephen has plans to visit the UK in 2012,
and event organisers are encouraged to contact him directly with speaking invitations. His talks
often feature fascinating screen displays and simulations of
emergent phenomena, latter-day expressions of
- 20th Century Cypher machines:
Enigma and Friends
offers a broader picture of 20th Century Cypher machines. Collector
John Alexander provides talks and presentations based around
cypher machines that he brings with him on the day. He can also
help with loans of machines for exhibitions.
John will be speaking at the
Symposium in Charlotte, North Carolina, March 22-24, 2012,
and offering some views of his Crypto equipment.
Contact details for
- The Turing Archive in King's College, Cambridge:
The Turing Digital
Archive is an invaluable
source of mainly unpublished personal papers
and photographs of Alan Turing from 1923-1972. But
there is nothing to compare with visiting the actual Turing archive at
looking at the originals. It is a unique experience to
see and touch Turing's original paper and ink,
and there might even be something which was missed in the scanning.
If you want to visit the archive to consult the material you would
need to book an appointment. They are open Mon-Thurs 9.30-12.30 and
1.30-5.15, and closed Fridays. To visit the archive, if you've never
visited before, you need to take either a letter of introduction from
your department and one piece of photo ID, OR two pieces
of photo ID.
Contact: Tracy Wilkinson, Assistant Archivist -
tracy.wilkinson @ kings.cam.ac.uk
Lavington is editor of an authoritative new BCS book on
Alan Turing and His
Contemporaries: Building the world's first computers. Simon's
speciality is the history of British computers from 1945 - 1965, and he is
available for talks based on the new Turing book.
Another unique book of Simon's which
is worth tracking down is his
A History of Manchester Computers - originally
published by the BCS, it is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone world - in which not
all the big ideas were mathematical.