One of the most famous British Mathematicians who contributed greatly to the field of computers and artificial intelligence is Alan Turing.

We’ve compiled some interesting facts to share with pupils about this creator and innovator.

  1. In 1936, Turing wrote a paper which has been described as the founding point of computers. He hypothesised that one day humans would build computers that would be able to solve most problems.


    2.  Alan attended school but his school reports were very bad. His English report said: “I can forgive his writing, though it is the worst I have ever seen, and I try to view tolerantly his unswerving inexactitude and slipshod, dirty, work, inconsistent though such inexactitude is in a utilitarian; but I cannot forgive the stupidity of his attitude towards sane discussion on the New Testament.” He was often at the bottom of the class but would soon become one of the most  important figures in recent history.

    3. Turing studied Mathematics and in 1938-1939 began helping the British government decipher communications during the war.

4. At Bletchley Park, which was once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers, Alan Turing helped to discover how to build a machine that made sense of codes.

5. According to some estimates, Alan Turing’s work is said to have cut short the war by two years which helped save millions of lives.

6. It was at this time that the first technicolour feature film in animation was aired. It was Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ which Alan Turing was noted to have enjoyed.

7. It wasn’t until the 1970s that we began to understand more about his contributions to the world. His work is still celebrated to this day.

8. Alan had some interesting habits. His bike had a faulty chain, and instead of fixing it, he knew when it was at risk of coming out of its place, and would get of his bike at the right moment, secure the chain and carry on riding.

9. Alan Turing enjoyed playing Monopoly and in 2012, a special Alan Turing version of the game was created to celebrate 100 years since his birth.

10. Alan was arrested for being gay in 1952 as homosexuality was not allowed at the time. Two years later, unfortunately Turing died. In 2009, 54 years after he died, the Prime Minister at the time, Gordon Brown, publicly apologised on behalf of the British government.

11. In 2002, Turing ranked twenty-first on a BBC nationwide poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

Further reading, and where the information in this article has been sourced from:


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