A Turing Enigma (2012)

Author(s): Randell B

    Abstract: I describe my investigations into the highly-secret role that Alan Turing played during World War II, after his pre-war theoretical work on computability and the concept of a universal machine, in the development of the world’s first electronic computers. These investigations resulted in my obtaining and publishing, in 1972, some limited information about Turing’s contributions to the work on code-breaking machines at Bletchley Park, the fore-runner of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Some years later I was able to obtain permission to compile and publish the first officially-authorised account of the work, led by T.H. (Tommy) Flowers at the Post Office Dollis Hill Research Station, on the construction of a series of special purpose electronic computers for Bletchley Park, computers that made a vital contribution to the Allied war effort. (Invited paper for CONCUR-2012.)

      • Date: June 2012
      • Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series
      • Pages: 17
      • Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
      • Publication type: Report
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Keywords: Alan Turing, Tommy Flowers, Enigma, Colossus, Bletchley Park

      Staff

      Professor Brian Randell
      Emeritus Professor, and Senior Research Investigator