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Alan Turing is known as the father of computing and cryptography. This British mathematician is recognized as a war hero for his exploits in decrypting messages in World War II and thus hastening the end of the war.
He studied at the University of Manchester. His great knowledge in the field of computing allowed him to make such advanced predictions to the level of warning of the current problem of computers when they “hang”.
The life of Alan Turing
Alan Turing had many hobbies, including sports, cryptography, biology, computing and mathematics, among others. However, he stands out for his activity in the field of computation and cryptography. He played a very important role in formalizing the concepts of algorithm and computation.
His best known feat is the deciphering of the Enigma machine during World War II. This machine specialized in encrypting Nazi codes. All this was possible thanks to one of Alan Turing’s creations, the Bombe machine, specialized in deciphering Enigma sequences.
It is estimated that he managed to shorten the war by two to four years. But this was not all, since after the end of the war Alan Turing managed to design one of the first digital programmable computers in the United Kingdom.
Shortly after the end of the war he was prosecuted and imprisoned for homosexuality. Alan Turing ended up committing suicide years later. It was not until 2013 when Queen Elizabeth II exonerated him post-mortem of all charges against him.
Alan Turing and cryptography
Although Alan Turing died at a young age, he is considered the precursor of modern computing. He left us several contributions to the technology we know and use today. Among his most important creations we find
- Turing Test by which the intelligence of a machine can be judged, the Pilot Model ACE, the concept of hypercomputing, discoveries in Mathematical Biology and most importantly, Turing machines.
- Turing machines were the first step to reach the cryptography used today in cryptocurrencies, specifically in blockchains. The first Turing machine was in charge of manipulating symbols on a tape according to a table of rules to determine whether or not a mathematical problem can be solved by a defined process.
- Later, in 1936 Turing developed the Universal Turing Machine. Like his previous version, its objective was to solve all mathematical problems that can be expressed by means of an algorithm.
The only difference between the two machines is that the universal machine takes a step closer to the creation of a computer. This is because the universal machine has the ability to carry out multiple processes and execute at the same time the function of any Turing machine.
In addition to creating machines to solve encrypted problems, he created machines for those problems that cannot be solved by Turing machines, i.e. encryption. This is called the concept of hypercomputing. Through this concept, machines called Oracle were created. Dedicated solely and exclusively to solve tasks that cannot be solved by algorithms.
This is how one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century managed to drive both the technology we know today in computing and the cryptocurrencies we work with every day.