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The Gachon Herald
The Tragic Life of Alan TuringThe Enigma Decryption Mission of the Nazis, 'The Imitation Game'
Yang tae seok  |  mrhappyjs@naver.com
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Updated : 2024.04.21  17:33:04
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 Alan Turing is revered in many places and has the distinction of being the father of computer science, the figure on the British £50 note, and namesake the Turing Award, the Nobel Prize of computer science. He left a legacy in computer science, and in this article, we will introduce the movie "The Imitation Game", which covers Turing's mission to decrypt Nazi codes during World War II and portray his life in his life in detail. Watching this movie in connection with this article may enhance your viewing experience, rendering it more enjoyable and exciting.

Alan Turing Before the War

 Turing was born in 1912 in Britain. He lacked social skills but possessed a brilliant mind. He taught himself calculus and, around the age of 16, read Einstein's papers on his own. Later, he published a paper titled "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem [German, decision problem]" during his university years. This paper introduced the concept of the "Turing machine," a theoretical device consisting of tape, a head capable of reading the tape, a state register, and an action table, which served as a blueprint for modern computers. In this way, Turing laid the foundation for the concept of computers in an era when they did not yet exist. However, in 1939, the outbreak of World War II would change everything.
 
Unbreakable Cipher
 
 After the outbreak of World War II, Nazi attacks on Britain continued. The Nazis utilized a cryptographic system called Enigma, which was incredibly difficult to decrypt. Additionally, the encryption method changed every 24 hours, making it nearly impossible to decipher. In order to tackle this challenge, the British intelligence agency recruited geniuses from various fields, including Alan Turing, a mathematician. However, Turing struggled to fit in with the team and felt that a machine rather than humans was needed for decryption. He began designing a decryption machine on his own. Funding for the project was needed, but the project leader repeatedly rejected his requests. Furthermore, colleagues submitted complaints expressing their dislike for working with Turing. Amidst these difficulties, Alan Turing became the project leader after sending a letter to the president.
 
 Alan immediately reorganized the team. He laid off two unnecessary personnel and recruited new members. He devised a method where a challenging crossword puzzle would be published in the newspaper, and only those who solved the puzzle could participate in the second round of tests. Eventually, Joan Clarke, who solved an eight-minute puzzle in just five minutes and thirty-four seconds, was hired. Despite the influx of new members and continued resource allocation, there was no progress in the research. Rumors of Alan's dismissal began circulating, but due to protests from colleagues, he was given an additional month. However, when Clarke expressed her intention to return to her hometown due to concerns from her parents, Turing proposed to her on the spot, saying that it was fine as long as they were together. As the promised month approached and there was still no progress, Turing, as usual, was drinking at the pub when he coincidentally stumbled upon a hint. Finally, the team succeeded in decrypting Enigma. However, instead of immediately using the decrypted information, Britain chose to let events unfold to avoid alerting the Germans and changing their encryption system. In other words, they chose who to save every day, sacrificing lives for victory. Eventually, the British Army emerged victorious in the war.
 
Alan Turing After the War
 
 At that time, homosexuality was considered a criminal offense in the UK. Turing, who was homosexual, was convicted after the war. Instead of going to prison for his research, he chose to receive hormone injections. As a result of the hormone injections, his health deteriorated, and he eventually died at the age of 42 in 1954, in his laboratory.
 
 Alan Turing's achievements are credited with shortening the war by two years and saving over 14 million lives. In 2013, after 61 years since his arrest for homosexuality, he was posthumously pardoned by the British monarchy. Currently, he is recognized for his accomplishments as the face on the £50 note in the UK. In the movie, Turing was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, whose immersive acting captivated audiences. Despite being a genius who conceptualized modern computers, Turing lived a tragic life due to his homosexuality. Through watching the movie, I hope viewers can experience Turing's life and the struggles he faced.
  
   
 
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