Days to Centenary: 264
In an earlier post, I mentioned a proposal by John Graham-Cumming to name the marathon at the London 2012 Olympics the “Turing Marathon” to mark the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth and to commemorate him as an outstanding athlete.
In other Olympic/Turing news, James Law, a computer scientist at Aberystwyth University has recently nominated a robot named iCub to carry the Olympic torch in honour of Turing.
I think a robot running with the Olympic flame held aloft would be awesome in its own right. To make it a tribute to Turing would only compound its awesomeness.
Days to Centenary: 264
As Turing cognoscente will know, Alan Turing was not exclusively cerebral. He was a world-class long-distance runner who was known to run from Bletchley Park (where he worked on breaking Nazi codes during World War II) to London — a distance of more than 60 kilometres — when he was needed for meetings there. When Britain hosted the Olympics in 1948, Turing came fifth in trials for the British marathon team. Now the Olympics are coming back to London.
John Graham-Cumming — programmer, blogger, and author of The Geek Atlas — led the successful campaign to obtain an apology from the British government for its treatment of Turing (full text here). Last year Graham-Cumming began a new campaign, trying to get the marathon in the London 2012 Olympics named the “Turing Marathon.”
See Graham-Cumming’s Guardian article here.
Turing-o-philes would benefit from following Graham-Cumming’s career even when it’s not crossing paths with Alan Turing’s. One of the latest projects he’s involved with is Plan 28. This is a project to — at long last — actually build the analytical engine proposed by Charles Babbage in 1837, almost exactly 100 years prior to Turing’s first formulation of an “automatic machine” in 1937, later to become known as a “Turing machine.”
You can find a good interview with Graham-Cumming about the Geek Atlas and the campaign for a government apology to Turing on the Shift Run Stop podcast episode from 16/12/2010, here.
You can hear an excellent interview with him regarding Plan 28 on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation podcast CBC Spark Plus from 03/10/2011, here.