DS 106 Assignment ~Iconic Alan Turing~




The Assignment:

Finally, I finished up with my fisrt DS106 assignment. After looking for each category of the assignment, I ended up in the page of design where I found an assignment exactly what I was looking for. Iconic You, the perfect assignment where I can start learning more about editing programs. The assignment instructions tells us to:

Create an iconic image/design for your own site that somehow represents you.

I was not sure if I am allow to do this, but instead of creating an iconic image for myself, I created a image of Alan Turing.


My first task was to gain more knowledge of Alan Turing. I started my research by looking at the comments on Turing Centennial  by Professor Lockman. I decided to use the Alan Turing Home Page  as I founded well organized and detailed information about Turing. After reading at his short biography, I decided to pick up the main events of Turing’s life and find an image that symbolize each event. Google image helped me with this task where I spend quite a fun time exploring many pictures and choosing a matchable image.

Here it comes the hard part of this assignment, playing with the editing programs. I am surprise of how I became bad at using them. Maybe around at the age of 10 or 13, I used to edit pictures with friends putting texts, change colors and effects on the pictures. Anyway, I opened up Picnik however, when I tried to register I was like “NOOOOO!” unfortunately, the website is going to be closed of April 19th, so people are not able to register anymore. Then, I tried with Gimp, where I got stuck. I do not know if its because I am using it on OS X or what, but I could not figure out how to use it. After one of the longest 30 minutes of my life past, I decided to go for another program. Aviary was my next challenge. Fortunately, this program was not as hard as the other ones. It was easy to register, easy to use and the design of the website is really cute, I personally loved it!

With Aviary, I first change each picture into white and black because I think its a classic effect. The next step was how to put them together. Well, I did not want to make it so complicated, so basically I just put them on chronological order. After I added a little bit of shadows and that’s it. After I felt annoyed because I could not understand how to use Gimp, so I opened up again the program and tried to figured out how to use it. I ended up gaining some knowledge of it and adding a background  to this image.


I am going to explain briefly each story of the images based on the Alan Turing Home Page.

1. Paddington

Alan Turing was born on June 23rd 1912. As almost all of you can imagine, he was born in Paddington, London. Immediately, this remind me when I was in Britain and people use to tell me about Paddington bear, a bear who came from the “Deep Darkest Peru” where I was born too. I spend my 16th birthday in Britain, and I remember that most of  my friends gave me teddy bears of Paddington. My apologies to my readers, I know this is nothing to do with the assignment but I cannot stop talking about it when I remember those moments. Rather than put the station of Paddington, I decided the bear because it gives a little bit of cuteness and unique way of symbolize Turing

2. The Turing Machine

“Automatic Machine”, this was the name giving at the time 1936 when Alan Turing introduced the Turing Machine. In his essay, “Intelligent Machinery” written in 1948, he describes this machine as:

“an infinite memory capacity obtained in the form of an infinite tape marked out into squares, on each of which a symbol could be printed. At any moment there is one symbol in the machine; it is called the scanned symbol. The machine can alter the scanned symbol and its behavior is in part determined by that symbol, but the symbols on the tape elsewhere do not affect the behaviour of the machine. However, the tape can be moved back and forth through the machine, this being one of the elementary operations of the machine. Any symbol on the tape may therefore eventually have an innings. (Turing 1948, p. 61)”

Making it very simple, the Turing Machine consist of a tape of infinite length and a read/write head which can move left and right across the tape. I spend looking at other websites which explains the Turing Machine, but “OMG” how complicated to explain it is! I was really impacted by how Alan Turing figured out all of that and created the machine.

3. The Bombe

Apparently the Bombe created in 1939 by Alan Turing was used during World Word II by the British to destroy the German Enigma enciphering machine. It seems that not only Turing invented one of the best creations but also, with his creation of bombe, Turing gave a great contribution toAllied victory.

4. The Turing Test

“Can Machine Thinks?” was Turing’s question when he introduce the Turing Test in 1950.Basically the test was suggested by Turing to check the intelligence of the machine. The test consist of a human being and a machine in a room and a judge in another room. Simply, the judge have to point out what  answer belongs to the machine and what answer belongs to the human being.Turing’s thesis is that if both players were smart enough, the judge could not tell who was the human being and who the machine. No machine still can pass this exam in an experience with the scientific method.

5. Prison

Alan Turing’s crisis started on 1952 where he got arrested for having a relationship with a Manchester man. I was impressed by reading that he did not denied the fact that he was homosexual, besides he saw no wrong on being one. I was really surprised at the fact that he was given the option of going to prison or undergoing hormone treatment to reduce libido. Turing chose injections of estrogen, which lasted one year and cause him  physical alterations, such as the appearance of breasts or a significant weight gain, and also made ​​him impotent.

6. Poison

This las picture symbolize his death. He was found on June 8th 1954 dead. Apparently, he died the day before of cyanide poisoning. Although his death was consider to be a suicide, his death has led to several hypotheses including murder.

I just found an article on BBC news  PM apology after Turing petition where the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2009 issued a statement declaring his apologies on behalf of the government for their treatment on Alan Turing. I was really surprised  at the fact that after about 50 years Alan Turing got an apology and his actions were admitted not to be wrong at all.

Having read about Alan Turing not only made me realize how technology advanced but also, how the society and the way people behave have changed too.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ★YUKA★
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 09:31:46

    I tried to use GIMP but It was difficult to understand how to use it. I will try to use Aviary!!!!
    You are really doing well:))


    • rdm1924g
      Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:57:16

      I know right! Aviary is way easier if you are a beginner on this:) if you have any problems using the program ask me anytime!
      I am not an expert on this but It think I’ll be able to help you:)


  2. lockmantuj
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 23:50:36

    I’m very impressed with this one. You’ve done a great job of highlighting important points in his career/life.


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