Andrew Hodges UK
Lecturer at the Wadham College, Oxford University. He will present a web of connections illustrating the life and work of Alan Turing, the founder of computer science.  
Alan Turing - Inventor of Cyberspace

In 1936 the British mathematician Alan Turing first mapped out cyberspace.
He discovered the boundaries of everything that can be computed, and worked out a plan for a *universal machine*. After sixty years we can begin to see the full power of his discovery. The universal machine, which we now call the *computer*, is now taking over the role of every other kind of machine. Computer codes, which he first wrote in 1936, now form the infrastructure to every kind of human activity.

Turing arrived at his ideas by analysing individual mental space. Today we can see the computer as the means for communicating and enhancing individuality, so the wheel has come full circle. But the road from Turing's first ideas to present-day technology was not an easy one. First it had to pass through the secret military machines of the Second World War. Alan Turing was the world's most successful anti-fascist, through his reading of the U-boat Enigma ciphers. But he himself, as a gay man open and unashamed before his time, fell victim to the cold war in 1954. The computer also had to develop through military state and big business needs, and the Internet also began its development as a military system. But by 1980 everything had started to change. Miniaturised, ever faster, cheaper, the computer has became accessible, with storage for texts, images, sound, growing exponentially. All forms of communication are transformed and allow new possibilities for the human mind and its senses.

Andrew Hodges will draw the links in Alan Turing's story that bring him alive in 2001. His life involved forging unexpected connections between mathematics, science, war, individual creativity, and sexuality. These connections were resisted by social rules and barriers in his own time, and are more relevant now than ever. Turing's fundamental definition of computability, combined with quantum mechanics, also suggests new possibilities for the science of the twenty-first century.

Lastly, Andrew Hodges will play a short piece of music, composed with computer software and digitally generated sound. His piece, *Song of cyberspace,* opens the portals of the Internet, but then speaks unexpectedly of the bitter irony of the computer's military past, evoking the submarine Atlantic warfare as the ancestor of the global Internet. Then it is brought back to the vibrant modern world, in which sexuality and music have driven the popular demand for computer technology, and ends with a sigh for all that had to be sacrificed.