Alan Turing, father of modern computing, was autistic

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Alan Turing, father of modern computing, was autistic.  Autism is defined as perpetual and unrelenting hyperfocus, the state of intense single-minded concentration fixated on one thing at a time to the exclusion of everything else, including his own feelings.

Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and theoretical biologist.  Turing was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing formalization of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, which was the first model of a general-purpose computer.  Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

During the second world war, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain’s codebreaking center.  Here he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German cyphers.  Turing played a vital role in cracking intercepted code messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Axis powers in many crucial engagements.  Official war historian Harry Hinsley estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by more than two years and saved over 14 million lives.

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