NW Engineers’ Christmas Lecture: The Four Facets of Alan Turing and our work on Morphogenesis

NW Engineers Christmas Lecture organised by the Joint Institutions Group

Tuesday 4 December 2012

6.00pm - 8.00pm

John Dalton Building, MMU, Chester Street / Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6BH

Free and open to all.

Prof. Bernard Richards, MSc, PhD, FBCS, FIMA, FIHRIM, FRAMS, CEng, CSci, CMath, CITP


This free NW Engineers Christmas Lecture is organised by the Joint Institutions Group. The talk starts at 6.30pm with refreshments from 6pm.

This Talk will demonstrate that Alan Turing was a man of many talents, but that these were not all recognised simultaneously during his life-time: indeed, some were not fully recognised until after his death. Turing started his education at Sherborne School in Dorset and there he revealed his skills in Mathematics and an interest in plant-life. He studied Mathematics at King’s College Cambridge and the worked at the Government’s Code-breaking Station at Bletchley Park during the War. Both during and after the War, he was able to demonstrate his talents in ‘Computer Design’, cf the Colossus Computer at Bletchley Park, and the Pilot ACE at NPL. On moving to Manchester he was able to use the Manchester BABY and the Ferranti MK 1, firstly to continue his interests in Mathematics, and then to pursue his more recent thoughts on Morphogenesis. This latter activity resulted in the publication of one of his most famous Papers - the first on Morphogenesis This Paper explained Dappling Patterns in TWO dimensions. The Speaker will show how he solved the Turing Equation in THREE Dimensions.

About the Speaker:

Professor Bernard Richards served as Professor of Computation and Professor of Medical Informatics at UMIST. A pioneer in the area of Medical Informatics, Professor Richards has been President of the Institute of Health Record Information and Management, Chairman of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Health Informatics Committee, Council Member of the Ukrainian Association of Computer Medicine, Member of Honour of the Romanian Academy of Medical Science, Member of the Society of Medical Informatics of Bohemia and a Member of the John von Newmann Computer Society of Hungary. All these positions come in recognition of the work he has done in promoting Health Informatics in these respective countries.

As a young man, Bernard studied as the MSc student of Alan Turing in the University of Manchester, working with him on his equations of morphogenesis. Their work together ended with Turing’s untimely death. You can read about his link to Turing in this Manchester Evening News article.

Bernard’s recollections of Turing have been placed in the Jubliee Time Capsule, The Legacy of Alan Turing by his Student Bernard Richards.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This event could be part of your CPD, including as part of the CPD process for Chartered status. Further details can be found at www.bcs.org/cpd