PHOTO: cover of a book by Andrew Hodges, "Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Centenary Edition," Princeton University Press, 2012 (Amazon Books link) Andrew Hodges is a fellow in mathematics at the University of Oxford.
Alan Turing (See Wikipedia), who was born in 1912 and died in 1954, was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.
The fact that Alan Turing was gay has been a well known fact for years, but I was still pleased to see it mentioned in an internationally distributed professional electrical engineering magazine column by Andrew Hodges, "Turing and the Test of Time, Celebrating Alan Turing's fundamental contributions to the computer age," IEEE Spectrum, June 2012, p. 8.
"Even so, the revelations of his wartime triumph have rescued the remarkable accomplishments of an unusual genius who combined the highly abstract with the hands-on approach of an engineer. His modern-minded openness as a gay man, one who suffered prosecution and punishment in 1952, has also attracted great attention. Alan Turing is a hero of the theory and practice of computer science. Adding his roles in the human dramas of war and sexuality, he has achieved a special place in history."
(Quoted from Andrew Hodges, "Turing and the Test of Time, Celebrating Alan Turing's fundamental contributions to the computer age," IEEE Spectrum, June 2012, p. 8)
Not many years ago, I am sure that any reference to Alan Turing being gay would have been censored by the editor ostensibly for being irrelevant and inappropriate for a professional engineering magazine. I compliment the editor and see this editorial decision as another sign of progress.