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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why Alan Turing Will Appear on UK Currency | International Monetary Fund

Finance & Development, December 2019, Vol. 56, No. 4 PDF version.

Mathematician and computer science pioneer Alan Turing will appear on UK currency by Melinda Weir, Staff Assistent at International Monetary Fund.


One Monday last July, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney strode onto the stage at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester to reveal the next face of the United Kingdom’s £50 note, one that the bank had earmarked for science.

The honor, he announced, would go to Alan Turing (1912–54)—mathematician, World War II code breaker, and father of computer science.

Turing was a visionary as well as a revolutionary, in Carney’s words, and an outstanding mathematician whose work has had a considerable impact on how we live today.
Turing’s seminal 1936 paper “On Computable Numbers” imagined the very concept of modern computing. His code-breaking machine is credited with shortening World War II. And his revolutionary postwar work helped create the world’s first commercial computers and articulated philosophical and logical foundations for artificial intelligence...

A photo of Turing, along with a composite image representing some of his groundbreaking ideas and inventions, will appear on the reverse side of the new £50 notes, scheduled to be issued in late 2021.

Last redesigned in 2011, the £50 bill will be printed on polymer for the first time: it’s much harder to counterfeit and more resilient and has a lower carbon footprint than paper, according to John. (The £5 and £10 notes have already come out on polymer, with the polymer £20 set to be issued in 2020.) 

Source: International Monetary Fund