segunda-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2012

[ATY/TCAC] December 17 update

Destaque para o trecho abaixo:
And more from Brazil, this time from Curitiba. Adolfo Neto wrote to
tell us about a "Tribute to Alan Turing at UTFPR" last Wednesday:


Dear All

The Turing Year is going out with more gusto than it came in with, and
overflowing into 2013 it seems. There is a huge amount to report,
unavoidable given the timing.

1) Professor Gopal writes from Chennai 'Can we organize events with the
"Alan Turing Year - India Celebrations" brand during early 2013 ?'

Definitely. Who knows what 2013 will bring ... After the year we've had,
it can't be a surprise to have Alan Turing memetically haunting us through
to New Year 2014, and beyond ...

2) Actually Professor Gopal and his colleagues are still busy in 2012.
Starting tomorrow they have a 3-Day Faculty Development Program on "Alan
M. Turing - Simplification in Intelligent Computing Theory and
Algorithms", running December 18 - 20, 2012 in Bangalore - for details

3) Also from India is news of a conference last week in Kerala. Jayant
Ganguly writes:

"I am happy to inform you that we celebrated Turing Centenary Celebration
with a one day conference on 12.12.2012 at Regional Science Centre,
Calicut at Kerala State in India. There were around hundred participants
from academia which includes professors,researchers and post graduate

And there are some great photos:

4) In the UK, the big news in the last few days was the letter to the
Daily Telegraph from Prof. Stephen Hawking, Lord Sharkey, the President of
the Royal Society, and a grand line-up of lords, and lordly scientific
figures (Martin Rees, Tim Gowers), calling for the overdue pardon for Alan
Turing. For a copy of the letter, see:

UK coverage included:

From BBC News

From the Guardian

From Daily Mail

It is the coverage of the letter around the world that is the most
remarkable, and which reminds us how in the wider world it is the UK
which stands metaphorically 'in the dock' - a small sample:

From India (The Hindu "Call to pardon Alan Turing")

From Spain (El Mundo)

From Seattle Times

From Toronto (The Globe and Mail)

From Washington Post (many other US sources)

From Australia (Sydney Morning Herald)

From Vancouver Sun "Scientists demand pardon for Turing
Code-breaker committed suicide after 1954 conviction for homosexuality"

From Mexico

The coverage of this little letter illustrates the international power of
science - what was particularly newsworthy was one celebrated brave
scientist (Stephen Hawking) speaking out in support of another (Alan

Of course, we shouldn't forget that the scene was set by Lord Grade's
December 11 question in the House of Lords:

And a few days earlier we had William Newman, boyhood Monopoly opponent
and friend of Alan, quoted in the Milton Keynes Citizen "I don't see why
they can't pardon him, it's not a crime anymore. Who does it hurt?" - and
they have a nice picture of William with Dermot Turing (Alan's nephew) at
a signing of the special Alan Turing Monopoly game at Bletchley Park:

We got invited to appear on Newsnight on the Friday, but had to decline
due to a prior commitment. Marcus du Sautoy and MP Iain Stewart were
interviewed by Jeremy Paxman instead.

5) Another major development for Turing followers was the news that "The
Imitation Game" script had been picked up by a credible movie maker. The
news that "Headhunters Director Hired For Alan Turing Biopic The Imitation
Game" was everywhere amongst the film webpages, this was the first we saw:
And Screen Geek reported "Morten Tyldum set to adapt Black List script
about genius mathematician":

6) Back on familiar territory we have the December edition of the
Bletchley Park Podcast "taking a look at 2012 The Alan Turing Centenary" -

"William Newman & Sir John Dermot Turing talk about The Alan Turing
Limited Edition Monopoly Set & Turing in 2012. Barry Cooper, of the Turing
Centenary Committee, updates us on some of the worldwide celebrations.
Turing expert, Jack Copeland, gives an exclusive reading from his soon to
be published book & The LGBT History Month Pre-Launch event was held at
Bletchley Park to mark the centenary." Thanks to the indefatiguable Mark
Cotton, here it is:
(I recently got a wonderful message from Mark in which he described how
fulfilling an experience the ATY has been for him, I think many people
will recognise such feelings, the year has been quite something ... )

Btw, in German, there is a short radio series "Der Urahn aller
Computernerds" about Alan Turing from DRadio Wissen (via Nika Bertram) in
5 parts, to be found at

It may yet become available on the Alan Turing/Bletchley Park AudioBoo!

7) There has been lots of Turing activity in South America - we review
it all briefly:

(a) From Colombia Angye Gaona reports:

"We are very pleased with the results of our event in commemoration of
Alan Turing. ...

"Talks took place during the afternoon of Friday 30.There was very much
attention in the person of Turing and his ideas from different viewpoints:
scientific, technological and social. Generally, In our university is not
done this type of activities and then was an opportunity to revitalize the
university spirit.

"The launch of Turing challenge, (an student's initiative) caused a
sensation. We have 30 registered and continue to register. This is the
link: "

(b) Anecy Scholling from the UK Embassy in Brazil had some kind words for
visiting lecturer Barry Cooper: "Please have a look at the Embassy webpage
webpage where they have advertised your lectures on
its front page:
I would like to thank you very much for your lectures and contribution
towards the UKBrasil Season calendar of events. Your lectures were
certainly a huge success amongst the Turing admirers, to those that study
his life and work and to those such as myself who are just starting to
learn and appreciate what he has done."
The funding from the Embassy (for Sue Black's visit too) was essential to
the success of the Turing events in Brazil.

And Marcelo Walter from Porto Alegri wrote:

"I'd like to briefly report to you that the day before yesterday
(Wednesday 12) we had the reading of "Breaking the Code" in a theater here
in Porto Alegre and it was a huge success! More than 120 people packed the
theater, mostly students! Maybe you want to mention that in your update."

That's fabulous, "Breaking the Code" has been mysteriously absent, play or
film, during the ATY. There were some student performances in Germany and
the Netherlands, but nothing significant in the UK or US.

And more from Brazil, this time from Curitiba. Adolfo Neto wrote to
tell us about a "Tribute to Alan Turing at UTFPR" last Wednesday:

8) The Pet Shop Boys Alan Turing project "Memory Of The Future" continues
to make waves, far beyond the narrow confines of the academic
world. You can hear 'Radio 2 In Concert', Wednesday 5th December 2012, BBC
Philharmonic Studio, Media City, Salford, published Dec 6, 2012 at

"Neil & Chris perform a selection of hits & new material supported
throughout by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & occasionally by Johnny

So included is a selection of old and new songs, and also premiere of part
of a piece Tennant and Lowe have been writing inspired by Alan Turing,
with assistance from Andrew Hodges. Of course, like all such material, one
never knows how long it will be available on YouTube...

9) The 2013 edition of The ALAN TURING Cryptography Competition (from
Manchester University) is already open for registration. The competition
starts on MONDAY JANUARY 7th, running to Monday 18th March 2013. You can
register at:

Information for teachers is at:

This is a really exciting competition, highly recommended. Unfortunately
it's limited to UK participants.

10) While talking about competitions for students, there is a nice story
from The Times of Israel on "Cracking a codebreaker's birthday code":

about the 3 winning students (one just 9 years old) of a Turing Centenary
codebreaking contest mounted by Israel's Education Ministry for junior
high and high school students. The code contest was designed by code
experts from Tel Aviv University, led by Professors Nachum Dershowitz and
Lior Wolf. The contest ran during the summer months (to tie in with
Turing's June 23 birthday) and during that period, some 30,000 people
checked out the contest on the special site the Education Ministry set up
for the contest.

11) Btw, don't miss the "Other Lives" exhibition inspired by Alan Turing,
at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem:

Running from November 29, 2012 to April 4, 2013, the works presented in
Other Lives are the fruit of 'collaborations' between artist and machine.
They explore what it means to be human in a digital age, as people become
increasingly dependent on intelligent machines. Have machines freed us
from the confines of our bodies or have they enslaved us? Are machines
becoming more human or are we becoming more mechanical?


12) Publications section:

(a) Not a Christmas present! Just out is a massive 4-volume "Handbook of
Natural Computing" from Springer. Very much in the tradition of Turing's
work in biology - we are told "Turing" is the most popular proper noun in
the book with 350 occurrences ... an essential resource for the
specialist, but you may need to get your library to pay for it - here is a
flyer with details:

(b) For something completely different, how about (in Italian) "Enigma -
La strana vita di Alan Turing" by Tuono Pettinato:

(c) From author Rudy Rucker:

"I can't remember if I told you that I've made free Creative Commons
editions of my Beatnik science-fiction novel TURING & BURROUGHS
available.  See the link at "

(d) From PG Kroeger, editor in chief of the Dutch magazine ScienceGuide:

"Here is the article in the Dutch

We also did an extensive interview with prof David Harel - in English as
well for - on Turing and his significance. You can read
this here:

13) From Arnold Beckmann in Swansea:

Just to let you know that our little Turing event went very well,
see the message below which I send to my College.  The play was
really good, if you have a chance to see it I recommend you do, I
think they want to show it again beginning of next year, but
nothing is planned yet.  You'll find pictures of the performances

Arnold continues:

The excellent Distinguished Lecture by Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly
revealed some very interesting insights in the history of the computer in
Britain, and which role Alan Turing played in it.

I seems the the play "To Kill a Machine", produced by Scriptography
Productions "was very special - quite dense and intense it presented
scenes from Turing's life as a mathematical genius, code-breaker at
Bletcheley Part, and gay man leading to his tragic death, intertwined with
a game show based on the Turing Test.  A picture of the show can now be
found at the webpage for the afternoon,

Sounds great, would love to see the play, hope it tours in 2013.

14) Apologies to Anna Dumitriu - she and Nick Lambert organised a nice
Turing Arts and Culture committee event with Alex May giving a Christmas
lecture, and not only were we too busy to get to Bloomsbury, were too
swamped to even publicise the event ... So, all one can say is Anna and
Nick and the rest of the committee were really fantastic, put so much
creative energy into the ATY ... so, too late, here are details: "This CAS
Christmas lecture is our concluding event for the Alan Turing Centenary
Year and we invite you to join us for the lecture, and drinks and nibbles
to celebrate this exceptional year of activities and raise (another) glass
or two to Alan Turing."

But I don't think we're finished, we don't get off that easily :-)

15) Another event it would have been great to be at was William Newman's
November 28 talk in Cambridge. We hear there was a full house at the Mill
Lane lecture rooms for his lecture entitled "Alan Turing Remembered" - he

"Many thanks for mentioning my talk on November 28th in your recent
Update.  The lecture room was packed, and there were quite a few
questions afterwards.  One of them was from a lady who was responding
to my mention of a bimonthly literary journal, The Monologue, which my
mother founded and produced from 1934-5, and which had about 100
subscribers - one of them this lady's mother!"

16) A reminder from Patrick Sammon, executive producer of the acclaimed
Turing movie "CODEBREAKER" that "Because of the demand, we've moved the US
wide-release date to January 17, 2013" And "You can reserve your tickets
now in dozens of cities with many more coming in the next few days."

The webpage to do this at is (we believe):

Patrick adds:

"P.S. I'm also pleased to announce that CODEBREAKER just won the Audience
Choice award at the 2012 European Science Film Festival!"

17) Another special film is Al and Al's "THE CREATOR". The London premiere
screening is planned as part of the London Short Film Festival. 4th-13th
January, 2013. See:

Finally, just time to say "thanks" to all those who have sent information,
and apologies for anything missed or wrongly reported. And to say thank
you to all the wonderful people who've helped make this year the amazing
time it has turned out. Of course, it's still not finished - as well as
Bangalore, there is a 3-day meeting starting in Granada 12:00 tomorrow
(Tuesday) ...

And the Turing100 lecture series in UNB Saint John in Canada has Manuela
M. Veloso talking on Jan 25, 2013:

And a new musical "The Universal Machine" about the life and death of Alan
Turing premieres on April 16 in London:

 ALAN TURING YEAR                 

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