Today is the birthday of Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), who is considered to be the father of computer science. He was the first to define the idea of a stored program that an imaginary computer could calculate (this was 1936).
During World War II he developed the code breaking scheme that cracked the German Enigma machine.
He developed the Turing machine, which is a state machine that:
- Has a finite set of states, including a start state and current state.
- Reusable storage for reading/writing.
- A defined way to change state.
A language is said to be ‘Turing complete‘ if it can meet the above criteria, and therefor produce the result of any calculation.
He was chemically castrated in 1952, because at that time homosexuality was illegal in the United Kingdom. He died 2 years later by ingesting a cyanide-laced apple.