Code breaker Alan Tur­ing’s note­book to be auc­tioned

The China Post - - LIFE -

A hand­writ­ten note­book by Bri­tish World War II code-break­ing ge­nius Alan Tur­ing is ex­pected to bring at least US$1 mil­lion at auc­tion in New York on Mon­day.

The 56-page manuscript was writ­ten at the time the math­e­ma­ti­cian and com­puter science pi­o­neer was work­ing to break the seem­ingly un­break­able Enigma codes used by the Ger­mans through­out the war. It con­tains Tur­ing’s com­plex math­e­mat­i­cal and com­puter science no­ta­tions and is be­lieved to be the only ex­ten­sive Tur­ing manuscript known to ex­ist, ac­cord­ing to Bon­hams, which is of­fer­ing the manuscript for sale.

The story of how Tur­ing and a team of crypt­an­a­lysts broke the code was por­trayed in the 2014 movie “The Imi­ta­tion Game,” star­ring Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch in the role of Tur­ing.

The note­book dates from 1942, when they were at the United King­dom’s World War II code and cypher school Bletch­ley Park. In one en­try, Tur­ing writes about a com­plex cal­cu­lus no­ta­tion.

“The Leib­niz no­ta­tion I find ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand in spite of it hav­ing been the one I un­der­stood the best once! It cer­tainly im­plies that some re­la­tion be­tween x and y has been laid down eg, y(equals)x2+3x.”

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