[Humanist] 25.883 events: celebrations of Turing

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Apr 9 07:23:14 CEST 2012

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 883.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 02:28:43 +0100 (BST)
        From: S Barry Cooper <pmt6sbc at maths.leeds.ac.uk>
        Subject: Celebrations of Turing, Update April 8, 2012

There is a huge amount happening as we get close to the actual anniversary
of Alan Turing's birth. Of course, we all have different interests in the
centenary - hopefully you will find interesting events to join and
support. As usual, no special order, but we try to group urgent items near
the top. And less urgent academic news has its special section at the end.

Watch for the follow-up in the next few days.

1) Some great news from Cambridge University Press. Back in 2010 we
approached CUP with a plan for the re-publication of Sara Turing's
biography of her son Alan, with a new introduction by Martin Davis, along
with a previously unpublished memoir by Alan's brother John. And the book
is now out! Here is the Press Release:
More details at:

Many thanks to Beryl and Dermot Turing for their support for this project
and for all the other 2012 ATY events.

2) And more good news from Patrick Sammon, producer of the Codebreaker
docu-drama on Turing seen in the UK on Channel 4 last November: We asked
Patrick how the enlarged international version of the film is coming on,
and if he had obtained the funding needed to pay for all the rights
involved. And yes, he says: "Our fund-raising progress is such that It
looks like we'll be ready for distribution of the film by June 15th - I
have a 53 minute version of the film and an 82 minute version." And there
are plans afoot for various showings in Cambridge and elsewhere. Watch for
news. There is still funding needed, so please contact Patrick if you can

3) There is going to be a lot happening all over the world on the actual
anniversary. In the UK there will be major events at Cambridge,
Manchester, Bletchley Park, etc. See below for more detail on particular
events. Please feel free to organise your own "Alan's Night" party. We
just heard from Prof. T V Gopal that they are organising a special event
in Kolkata on 23 June 2012. See:

And from Jack Copeland:

4) Alan Turing's SURPRISE 100th Birthday Party at King's College,
Cambridge, 15-16 June 2012.
Program details and registration at
Speakers include Margaret Boden, Daniel Dennett, Captain Jerry
Roberts, Bernard Richards, Simon Singh, Sir John Turing, Stephen Wolfram.
Event organised by Jack Copeland and Mark Sprevak.

5) We should mention that the same evening - this is how the Turing year
is turning out - also in Cambridge, the McCrum Lecture Theatre (which is
in Bene't Street just outside of King's College) has been booked from 5:30
to 7:00 on the 16th for a personal talk by Bob Lubarsky from Florida
related to the experience of being gay in a not-very-gay academic world -
with a possible showing of the movie on Turing. Hopefully Jack's party and
this fascinating event will coordinate ...

6) The Turing ePetition has achieved record levels, outstripping even the
2009 petition of John Graham-Cumming, which got 32,286 signatures before
Gordon Brown made his famous apology. The next few days could see the
petition for a full pardon break through 33,000. For a nice photo of
petition-starter Will Jones, and Manchester Withington MP John Leech, see:

Leaving politics aside, John has done great service to the Turing
centenary with his support for the petition.

7) The great Manchester sunflower experiment has attracted a lot of media
attention - and for the exhibition at the Manchester museum focused on
Turing's startlingly prescient work on emergence of form in nature - see:

8) Sherborne School and it's archivist Rachel Hassall continue to great
work making their rare Turing artifacts available widely - and it seems
Turing biographer David Leavitt is a recent visitor:


9) The Turing Fellowship Competition, funded by the John Templeton
Foundation, has come to a conclusion. The winners of the 5 Fellowships
(worth 75,000 pounds each over 3 years), and the 3 Turing Scholars (45,000
pounds each) have been chosen, but the public announcement awaits final
decisions by the JTF on handful of 'commended' researchers, who may yet be
funded. The winners will be presented with their awards at the remarkable
Manchester Turing Centenary Conference, 22-25 June. The JTF funding, at
over a million pounds, is a remarkable affirmation of their support for
Turing's scientific legacy. For more details of the Manchester event, see:

The meeting is run by EasyChair supremo Andrey Voronkov, which tells you
to expect something ambitious.

10) Of course, there are TWO Turing Centenary Conferences, the other major
event being the Turing Centenary Conference: Computability in Europe 2012
in Cambridge: http://www.cie2012.eu

The scientific programme of CiE 2012 is massive, quite amazing. You can
still submit a contributed talk at:

For the already record number of talks accepted, see:

11) Huma Shah wrote in late March: "Just to let you know, BBC's TODAY
programme are making an audio show about Alan Turing to be aired in early
June - a member of their team was over at University of Reading's School
of Systems Engineering to record and interview because Professor Wawrick
and I are running Turing test trials all day today. We explained the point
of the Turing test and its relevance today."

Huma also tells us:
"The London Olympic Games Delivery committee (LOCOG) have recognised Alan
Turing and the University of Reading's Turing test event at Bletchley Park
as "exceptional and innovative". The project has been awarded the London
2012 Inspire Mark for Education.
"There is still time for schools and Turing enthusiasts to take part in
the project and shape the main event  at Bletchley Park on Turing's
centenary: 23 June. Contact Turing100atBletchleyPark at gmail for more

12) Those who saw Bernard Richards (ex-MSc student of Alan himself) give
his talk on morphogenesis at the Manchester Literary and Philosophical
Society on Monday 26 March will have had a unique insight into Turing and
his science. The hall was so packed the organisers had to keep late-comers
waiting to see if seats could be found. We see he is also speaking at Jack
Copeland's Turing party in Cambridge.

There at Bernard's talk was another interesting figure, Jonathan Swinton -
the instigator of the great sunflower experiment mentioned above - he
recently wrote: "The sunflower project is really kicking off now with lots
of coverage. It's still fluid though with lots of opportunities for other
people to contribute, so grateful for any coverage...
http://manchestersciencefestival.blogspot.co.uk/ "

13) Don't forget the the National Museum of Computing special event about
Turing and his Times on 26 April at 5pm in the Bletchley Park Mansion. The
TNMOC event is the second of three Turing-themed events linking three of
the top computing museums in the world.
Turing and his Times will feature a talk by computer historian Prof
Simon Lavington on Turing and his Contemporaries, a simulation of the
Pilot ACE computer by TNMOC trustee Kevin Murrell, and the first
formal public showing of a video commissioned by the National
Physical Laboratory (NPL) of the recollections of two of Turing's
For info and tickets see: http://www.tnmoc.org/36/section.aspx/238

14) Martin Hyland writes: Not sure this is sufficiently important for
Turing Year news (though your decision!)but it does show how wide the
impact of the year is? - and there follows a lovely letter from runner and
Cambridge alumnus Arturo Ortiz Tapia, saying how he "will run Boston's
marathon on Monday, April the 16th (as Alan Turing used to)."

Adding: "Neither my mathematical work, nor, perhaps, the race are going to
be as great as Turing's (his best time was 2:46, and mine is likely to be
just under 3 hours; I could improve it, but it doesn't seems to me that is
going to be within Alan Turing's centenary birth celebration), and yet, I
humbly offer them both, to the Celebration of that great mathematician who
was Alan Turing."

15) Another international message - from Prof. Dimiter Skordev from Sofia
in Bulgaria:
" I suggest the following information to be added to the one present on
the site dedicated to the Alan Turing Centenary:

A talk under the title "Alan Turing – the Enigmatic Genius of the
Information Age" by Radoslav Pavlov is included in the program of the
forthcoming 41th Spring Conference of the Union of Bulgarian
Mathematicians (Borovetz, April 9-12, 2012). The text of the lecture (in
Bulgarian, with a short English summary) can be found at

16) At the artistic end of the Turing spectrum, Anna Dumitriu and her
fellow Turing Centenary Arts and Culture Committee members have been
touring a superb Turing-influenced exhibition on "Intuition and
Ingenuity", latest venue Sheffield (brave of them to venture north) - and
she sends images of the exhibition at Lovebytes Festival there:

17) From Federico Gobbo:

"this year the Italian youth festival organized by the Esperanto Movement
in my country has Alan Turing as a main topic: in English it sounds like
"New languages for new media: from Leibniz to Zuckerberg, through Turing"
Here there's the official web page about the topic, in Italian and
where you will find a reference to the ATY.
In the following blog entry
there's also the summary of my lecture, entitled:
"Alan Turing as a philosopher of language"

18) Roland Backhouse announces a new online Turing-tape competition:
"The page is now live.
Please go ahead
with announcing the competition when the next occasion arises.
I'm in the process of promoting the competition via social media, starting
with my Facebook account. I've created a group "Turing-tape Competition".

19) Professor Robert I. Soare from Chicago writes:
"The ACM magazine for students XRDS has an entire issue on computation and
Turing. The student interviewed me and wrote what I said
http://people.cs.uchicago.edu/~soare/ "

20) We're reminded:
The 2012 Edwards Lecture at City University, London will be given on the
17th April 2012 at 6:00 pm by Professor David Stupples from the School of
Engineering and Mathematics. Details:

21) US mathematician Carl Mummert has prepared a printable summary of ATY
events - which can be found at:

22) Just in case - The deadline for a number of the symposia at the
AISB/IACAP World Congress 2012 is April 8th - see:
We guess that a submission by the end of the Easter weekend might still be

23) If you want a copy of the really excellent Pink Triangle Theatre short
film "Dear Alan – A Tribute To Alan Turing" for use in schools or
colleges, you can get a free DVD via:

24) We should have mentioned the Government e-Petition to put Alan Turing
on the next £10 note. Please sign:

25) Paul Wonnacott, Prof. Emeritus, Univ. of Maryland, has written a novel
about Bletchley Park and codebreaking during the Second World War. Paul
send the link: http://www.lastgoodwar.com/ The book seems more related to
Marian Rejewski than Alan Turing, but maybe that's a nice aspect of the
ATY - all sorts of very deserving Turing-related matters are getting some
overdue attention.

26) From Benedikt Loewe: "As mentioned a while ago, we have three color
prints of the Turing posters from the King's Archive funded by IOS Press.
The idea was that we send them to organizers of Turing events in the UK
(and possibly Europe) if they promise to cover the postage costs and to
send the posters back to us immediately after the event."

The display is really excellent - if you want to enhance your event with
this display from King's College, do contact Benedikt.

27) Btw, the Turing Trail Relay was great. If you want more Turing-esque
running along the river between Cambridge and Ely, there is still a
training run planned - According to John Turner: "All being well our
proposed plans for a TCAC training run on Sunday 17th June and an Alan
Turing Centenary team trophy for the Grunty Fen Half Marathon are still

28) Our very generous benefactor IOS tells us (thanks Astrid) that

"Our Turing page is up! http://www.iospress.nl/turing/ "

IOS has been specially supportive (and publishes the new "Computability"
journal, 1st issue due to appear in June).

More Academic News:

1) Alex Goryachev who works in IBM Research in Haifa, Israel, writes:

"We are organizing a special session on Security Verification in hardware
and software as part of the 2012 annual Haifa Verification Conference (
The idea of the session is to present various methods of verifying the
security of a certain software or hardware module and to draw the
verification community attention to the importance of Security
Verification subject. In light of the Alan Turing centennial year, we
would like to devote this session to honor his leadership in breaking
German ciphers during World War II."

2) Submission deadline for DCM 2012
8th International Workshop on Developments in Computational Models
A satellite workshop of CiE 2012
Sunday, 17 June 2012; Corpus Christi College; Cambridge, England
is 15 April 2012.

3) From Jerome Durand-Lose, a reminder that paper submission for the 11th
International Conference on
University of Orleans, France, September 3-7, 2012
closes on April 9th 2012.

4) From Veronica Becher - news of the Logic and Computability Session
IV Latin American Congress of Mathematicians (IV CLAM)
FAMAF, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba,
August 6 to 10, 2012

Submission deadline: April 13, 2012.
See: http://www.famaf.unc.edu.ar/clam2012/

5) 16th April in Nice:

Sorry, you'll have to read the webpage, my French won't help ...

6) Lots happening in Switzerland - just back from superb meeting in Bern
organised by the SGSLPS, currently Marion Haemmerli (Lausanne), Kevin
Fournier (Lausanne), Yann Pequignot (Lausanne) and Dandolo Flumini (Bern)
- see: http://www.sgslps.ch/events-de.php

News of further Swiss events:

November 16-17, 2012 (http://ic.epfl.ch/alan-turing-days): Alan
Turing Days hosted by the School of Computer and Communication
Sciences  of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), in
Switzerland. The programme includes, among other activities, talks by
the distinguished members of the Computer Science community, 
Professor Christos H. Papadimitriou (UC Berkeley) and Professor
Emeritius Niklaus Wirth (ETH, Switzerland). For inquiries, please
contact Prof. Anastasia Ailamaki (anastasia.ailamaki at epfl.ch)

7) And from Eric Fleury:


               Conferences on Alan Turing's Heritage

       Turing Centenary Meeting, ENS de Lyon, France

                               Juy 2-4, 2012

                     http://www.turing2012.fr/ [www.turing2012.fr]
                            (free registration)

8) From Marin Vlada:

"You know that ICVL 2012  is dedicated to "2012 Alan Turing Year".

ICVL 2012 - Special edition dedicated to "2012 Alan Turing Year"
www.turingcentenary.eu [www.turingcentenary.eu] | TURING CENTENARY
CONFERENCE: www.cie2012.eu "

All for now!

 ALAN TURING YEAR                           http://www.turingcentenary.eu
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