Today’s Google Doodle is a working Turing machine that contains six puzzles. Sophia Foster-Dimino on Google’s Doodle team built the app in honor of Alan Turing’s 100th birthday.
What’s a Turing machine? It’s not an actual machine, per se, but a thought experiment that allowed for the advent of digital computing.
Turing went on to head the team at Bletchley Park that decoded Germany’s Enigma encryption machine, thereby turning the tide of the war. The British government subsequently sentenced him for “gross indecency” – homosexuality – and offered him prison or chemical castration. He chose the latter and killed himself two years later.
Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown posthumously apologized to Turing in 2009.
Let’s take a moment to remember Alan Turing, the inventor of the modern computer and a persecuted intellectual who, in the end, gave us everything we use every day.