The World of Alan Turing

29 February 2012, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Room 007, Prospect Building, University of Sunderland, Sir Tom Cowie Campus.

Free of charge for both BCS and non-Members.

David Bew

Event description:

I have initially entitled this talk “The World of Alan Turing”, but it has an undertitle which is intended to emphasise that once I stop talking about Turing’s work in Cambridge, he frequently worked in teams to develop codebreaking approaches, ideas and advances. These teams were essential later because Turing didn’t do engineering – focussed thinking, in the main.

There are about 24 slides, though there are a few photo collections of about a half-dozen photos which could be handed around as copies. These just show who the team members (at Bletchley and elsewhere, e.g. at University of Manchester computing laboratory) were, what Enigma looked like (already on one of the slides), what the Lorenz enciphering machine looked like, and of Colossus. I could also use a schematic of the design of the Manchester “Baby” if you think a “walk-through” of its
operation would be helpful (I’m not sure the design is that intuitive, I’d hate people just to stare at it, and not ask what does this do, why do you have 3 registers, etc).

There are also two mind-map networks, which I have found useful in describing the links between the various approaches and ideas.

David Bew

David has a BSc from Stirling University, and has over 35 years work in Computing, from programming (incl. assemblers, COBOL, Fortran, Design languages, SQL, Shells and Windows scripting) through to Systems Analysis, O.S. Design/implementation & Projects (managing & teamwork), with about 5-6 employers.