Alan Turing: Exhibition offers rare glimpse of the man behind the enigma

The exhibition also offers a glimpse of Alan Turing the man through a collection of personal belongings provided by his family.

Alan Turing's nephew, Sir John, said the family hoped the personal belongings would show the human side of the mathematician.

"You hear about his eccentricities, about chaining mugs to the radiators and cycling through the locality with his gas mask on to ward off hay fever. It can paint a picture of somebody who is perhaps too weird to want to get to know," he said.

"What this new exhibition is trying to do is to share some of the more human side of Alan Turing's nature, to balance out the picture," he said.

Above is a school report for Turing aged 18, which unsurprisingly paints a picture of an academically gifted student.

His maths teacher praises his skill in the subject, saying, "if he does not get flustered and lapse back into slip-shod work he should do very well". The only subject where Turing drew much criticism was in English, where his teacher complained, "His reading is too deliberate."

In a prescient statement, Turing's headmaster summed up the student, by saying, "He seems to be going on very well indeed."

Photo: Nick Heath/TechRepublic


About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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