Seven Interesting Things About ~ Alan Turing

Did a quick read of Common Sense Media’s review of the Imitation Game and despite the recommendation for kids at least 13 I took my nine-year old daughter.

As a parent of a gifted child I love sharing movies with her about people she can relate to. The movie’s about a geeky guy who got bullied in school and went on to basically win the war and save thousands of lives. Definition of a hero and pretty good guy.

She (me too!) is a Benedict Cumberbatch fan thanks to Sherlock. She also likes codes so this seemed like it would be a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Alan Turing The Imitation Game

Alan Turing

The movie provides opportunities for conversation ranging from bullying, wartime ethics, and how movies may play fast and loose with facts in order to tell a better story.

We came home and of course she wanted to know more about Alan Turing.

Here are seven interesting things we learned.

  1. The second most influential Princeton alumni of all time. He came in second behind only President James Madison. High praise.
  2. He was at Princeton the same time Albert Einstein was at the Institute for Advanced Study which was housed on the campus.
  3. Turing studied at Cambridge University and elected a fellow at the young age of 22.
  4. Developed the Turing Test for machine intelligence assessment: if an observer cannot tell whether they are interacting with a human or machine, the machine is intelligent.
  5. The computer room at King’s College at Cambridge University is the Turing Room.
  6. The Association for Computing Machinery gives the annual Turing Award to “an individual selected for contributions of a technical nature made to the computing community”. An announcement in November 2014 that the funding for the Turing Award increased to $1,000,000 and is provided by Google. Wow!
  7. Suspected of having Asperger’s Syndrome.

Have you seen the Imitation Game? What did you think? Will you take your kids to see it?

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