Bletchley Park Author sheds light on Alan Turing

Written by Jeremy Wilton on .

ColussusAndrew Hodges will talk about his biography of Alan Turing; the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life of a man now widely recognised as the founder of computer science. A gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution, Andrew Hodges’ acclaimed book captures both the inner and outer drama of Turing's life.

Hodges tells how Turing's revolutionary idea of 1936 - the concept of a universal machine - laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realisation in 1945 with his electronic design. He considers how this work was directly related to Turing's leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War Two, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic story of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment programme - all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.

Andrew Hodges teaches mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford. A colleague of Roger Penrose, he is also an active contributor to the mathematics of fundamental physics. He is famous for his book Alan Turing: The Enigma, which is currently being made into a film starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, to be released later this year. The book was chosen by Michael Holroyd as part of a list of 50 essential books in The Guardian.

Tickets to Bletchley Park Presents Andrew Hodges Sunday 17 August are £20, on sale now. Friends of Bletchley Park receive priority booking on all ticketed events, among other benefits.