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ICT History

Alan Turing: the United Kingdom Apologizes

On 2009-09-10, the British prime minister, Gordon Brown, rose in the United Kingdom House of Commons to apologize for the treatment of Alan Turing after WWII. You can read the apology at the UK National Archives.

In addition, you might like to watch this short centenary celebration of Turing’s life and accomplishments, including his persecution and the subsequent apology, filmed for the 100th anniversary of Turing’s birth.

This small glossary might help you better understand the video:

Alan Turing—Celebrating the Life of a Genius

Bletchly Park
• headquarters of the British codebreakers
computer (as normally understood before WWII)
• a person who computes
• a person who performs mathematical computations
cypher
• think “code”
cryptography
• the study and practice of codemaking and codebreaking
encrypt
• encode
• convert into code
OBE
• Order of the British Empire
• honorees are styled “Dame” or “Sir’
signals
• think “secret radio broadcast”
The Bombe
• named after the Polish bomba kryptologiczna (cryptologic bomb)

Of course, there’s also the feature film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, which began its commercial release on 2014-11-21.

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[This page last updated 2016-11-24 at 18h25 Toronto local time.]