CHINA TOPIX

Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

Make CT Your Homepage

Alan Turing's Journals Up for Auction

Alan Turing

(Photo : wikipedia.org) Alan Turing, the genius who started the era of computer science.

Alan Turing's hidden manuscripts are going to be auctioned on April 13 by auction house Bonhams. Turing, a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician and mathematical biologist, also helped break Nazi Germany's World War II Enigma cipher machine.

The notebook could fetch up to US$1.5 million when it goes on sale at Bonhams auction home in New York.

Like Us on Facebook

The notebook could contain previously inaccessible details about the birth of computer science and artificial intelligence that Turing labored over in the decades before his death in 1954.

Turing, a homosexual, worked for the Britishg Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park and broke the infamous Enigma code. This marvelous work of mathematical genius allowed Britain to remain alive through WWII.

Turing is also the father of computer system science and artificial intelligence.

Turing lived in a nation where homosexuality was a crime, and was chemically castrated by the British government in 1952. After two years, he committed suicide by eating a cyanide-laced apple.

After Turing's death, his papers passed to his mathematician friend Robin Gandy. Gandy, in turn, passed most of the papers on to King's College.

One of the things Gandy held back was a journal kept by Turing during 1942 while he was working as a codebreaker.

Turing used the remaining pages of the journal as a dream journal. Because of the personal nature of the dream entries, the journal remained in Gandy's possession until his death in 1995.

"The contents of the journal are intensely private, so it is not a surprise that he would want to retain the journal private, and in truth, it remained hidden amongst his personal effects until his death. As he wrote at the beginning of this journal, 'It appears appropriate disguise to write in involving these notes of Alan's on notation, but possibly a little sinister a dead father figure, some of whose thoughts I most totally inherited,'" a Bonhams press release stated in announcing the sale.

Turing's life is superbly detailed in Andrew Hodges' book, Alan Turing: The Enigma. In addition, there are thousands of papers, articles, photographs and letters that can be viewed at TuringArchive.org.

Real Time Analytics