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Lecture: "Keys to Turing" by Homay King Nov. 8

  • 11/8/2012 | 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
  • Location: Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom
  • Event Type: Lecture

Lecture: "Keys to Turing" by Homay King Nov. 8Homay King, Associate Professor of History of Art and Director of the Center for Visual Culture at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, discusses her project on Alan Turing.

Turing was best known for cracking the infamous German Enigma cipher in World War II. A brilliant mathematician, Turing pioneered research in artificial intelligence and his designs became prototypes for the modern computer.

In the 1950s, however, Turing was arrested on charges related to his homosexuality and, in lieu of prison, was subjected to a chemical treatment that likely led to his suicide.

The aim of her project, King says, is to "queer the computer just slightly."

King suggests that "Turing's sexuality - or more accurately, the way he endured the oppressive social burdens of homosexuality in his time - is not fully separable from his research in computer language and logic."

"Computer language offered a refuge from the kinds of cryptic, often shameful channels through which gay men in World War II-era England were obliged to interact with one another," says King.

Please join us as King explores Turing's relationship with his groundbreaking research and the social mores of his time.

Sponsored by the English Department, the Computer Science Department, and the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program