5th March 2021, 11:00am


Alan Turing - IEKYF RQMSI ADXUO KVKZC GUBJ (Founder of Computer Science)

Alan Turing was a computer scientist, codebreaker, mathematician, and member of the Manchester Lit & Phil, too.  Frequently referred to as ‘the father of modern computing’, Manchester became Turing’s home following his work as a cryptanalyst with the British Intelligence Service during the Second World War. His contributions at Bletchley Park lead to the breaking of the German Enigma machine.

Turning was prosecuted for gross indecency in 1952, as homosexuality was illegal in the UK. Two years later, in 1954, Turing was found dead, with an inquest concluding that his death was due to cyanide poisoning, and that Turing had committed suicide. Turing was eventually pardoned by The Queen in 2013.

In Sackville Park, Manchester, Turing’s life is commemorated by a sculpture, unveiled on 23 June 2001, on what would have been Turing’s 89th birthday. Etched on the bench is an artistic depiction of a one of Turing’s ciphers that he used to help crack the Enigma Machine. When deciphered, it reads ‘Founder of Computer Science’.

The Alan Turing Institute is the national research hub for data science and artificial intelligence, based at the British Library. The Institute cites Alan Turing’s pioneering work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering and computer as central tenets to contemporary data science. The University of Manchester joined the institute in 2018.


Discover more

  • The University of Manchester Library holds a file of correspondence and papers accumulated by Alan Turing in relation to his work in the University's Computing Machine Laboratory
  • You can visit a recreation of Alan Turing's office as it would have looked during World War II at Bletchley Park