To celebrate our pride, we are posting some information on a different LGBT+ person in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) every day. To start, we are picking someone who everyone knows; Alan Turing.Born in 1912, Turing was born a mathematician. At a young age, he exhibited a strong interest in science and math. From 1931 to 1934 he studied at King’s College (University of Cambridge) and graduated as a fellow of the school. During his studies, he proved the central limit theorem in his dissertation.
After graduating, he wrote a paper, entitled, “On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungs problem.” The paper discussed the possibility of a machine that can compute anything that is computable.
“Over the next two years, Turing studied mathematics and cryptology at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. After receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1938, he returned to Cambridge, and then took a part-time position with the Government Code and Cypher School, a British code-breaking organization” (Biography).
Considered the father of modern computer science, his design created the earliest modern computer. He also provided the basis for modern artificial intelligence. His Enigma machine ended up breaking German codes and allowing the Allied Powers to win the war.
After suffering a break-in from an old partner, Turing reported the break-in to the police. Instead of being helped, he was charged with gross indecency as homosexuality was illegal in England at the time. The two punishments he could chose from were chemical castration or imprisonment. Choosing the former, Turing’s mental health deteriorated and he was rendered impotent. He died on June 7, 1954. He death was ruled a suicide as an apple was found near his body and cyanide was found in his stomach. However, his death could have been a accident since he often worked with the lethal chemical in experiments.
“Following a petition started by John Graham-Cumming, then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement on September 10, 2009 on behalf of the British government, posthumously apologized to Turing for prosecuting him as a homosexual” (Biography).
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ participants in FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST was started to spread visibility of the LGBTQ+ community within FIRST and help teams become safe spaces for their members.