Manchester Uni to throw Alan Turing a centenary shindig

Centenary celebrations have been planned for the man widely acclaimed as the father of modern computing, Alan Turing.

The University of Manchester will host an event featuring key speeches from Google senior vice president Dr Vint Cerf, Head of the IBM Watson project Dr David Ferruci, as well as others such as chessmaster Garry Gasparov and Turing award winners.

Turing’s life and legacy will be discussed along with the future of computer science at the event which will run from 22nd to 25th June.

The work of Alan Turing has been in the headlines recently as, at last, there is a move to promote computer sciences in the British curriculum.  

In a speech, education minister Michael Gove heralded the “foundation stones” that Turing laid in the development of computing. Google’s Eric Schmidt, who criticised the absence of computer science education in the UK, will also speak at a centenary celebration in Princeton University on 10th May.

While Turing is held in high regard at home and abroad, domestic authorities recently refused to overturn convictions for homosexuality against the computer scientist – who was part of the legendary Bletchley Park code-breaking team.

Despite a recent petition to have his conviction pardoned, it was sadly ruled that this was not allowed as homosexuality was offence in the fifties when Turing was convicted.   Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown offered an apology for his treatment at the time.

The event at Manchester University, where Turing worked with Max Newman and created the first computer with memory stored programs, will celebrate his life and work with three days of lectures and panel discussions.

More details of the lectures can be found here.