The name Alan Turing might not roll off the tongue with the familiarity of Edison or Gutenberg, but his impact on technology is arguably just as vital. A brilliant British mathematician who all but created the field of computer science, Turing broke codes for the Allies in World War II and developed the concepts of algorithms and computations using binary code. Chances are, we wouldn’t have Pac-Man, Microsoft, or Twitter without him. But, as a gay man back when homosexual acts were criminalized, Turing was forced to treat himself with female hormones as an alternative to prison, ending his career and life in disgrace. His case has become a cause célèbre for the gay-rights movement, which has led to the British film Codebreaker — a mix of documentary and dramatization that catalogs his accomplishments and persecution.
Thu., Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m., 2012