PROF: Alan Turing Decoded

Prof. Alan Turing Decoded cover (paperback)

Alan Turing was an extraordinary man who crammed into a life of only 42 years the careers of mathematician, codebreaker, computer scientist and biologist. He is widely regarded as a war hero grossly mistreated by his unappreciative country and it has become hard to disentangle the real man from the story. It is easy to cast him as a misfit, the stereotypical professor. But actually Alan Turing was never a professor, and his nickname ‘Prof’ was given by his codebreaking friends at Bletchley Park.

Now, Alan Turing’s nephew, Dermot Turing, has taken a fresh look at the influences on Alan Turing’s life and creativity, and the later creation of a legend. He has drawn on new sources to examine some of the questions about his life, his work during the war and the controversy surrounding his death. Dermot’s vibrant and entertaining approach to the life and work of a true genius makes this a fascinating and authoritative read.

The anecdotes flow as Dermot warms to his theme. ‘Prof’ really is a cracking read and no engineer’s library is complete without it on their shelves.
Nick Smith, Engineering and Technology, November 2015 

For anyone seeking a more nuanced picture of the human side of Turing, however, this book makes a useful and sometimes poignant contribution. Clare Mulley, History Today, February 2016

Prof deserves a place on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the history of BP and in the development of the computer.
David Hamer, Cryptologia, November 2016

He (Dermot Turing) has done a fabulous job of translating the complexities of mathematics and the early computer science to the lay person.
Walter Myer, La Jolla Light. November 2016

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