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A Turing Enigma

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Brian RandellORCiD



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.)

Publication metadata

Author(s): Randell B

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2012

Pages: 17

Print publication date: 01/06/2012

Source Publication Date: June 2012

Report Number: 1342

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne