2 nights starting from
This superb new tour, created exclusively by the editors at New Scientist, looks in depth at the life and work of computer pioneer and wartime codebreaker Alan Turing, widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. The tour is based in Northampton, from where we look at Turing’s time at Cambridge and through the war years at Bletchley Park.
|20 - October - 2017||Limited Availability||Travel Info Please Call||booking-journey/#/start/TUR/20 October 2017/|
Day 1: Arrive independently at the Northampton Marriott Hotel.
Evening welcome reception, dinner and lecture by New Scientist's Hal Hodson about Alan Turing including his time at Cambridge.
Day 2: Full day visit to Cambridge.
Full day visit to Cambridge where Turing studied mathematics and went on to lay the theoretical foundations for modern computers. You will explore with local guide Rosie Zanders including entrance to Kings College, the Chapel and its archives. Subject to traffic conditions the tour will commence at the American WWII Cemetery at Madingley; in the Memorial Chapel there is a beautiful 3-D sculpted wall map of WWII battles, which gives a good illustration of the importance of the work carried out by Bletchley Park code-breakers, with particular reference to Turing and other Cambridge graduates. From Madingley we drive through the new high-tech West Cambridge development, where some of the state-of-the-art buildings reflect Turing’s legacy; one notable building is the William Gates Building, the University Computer Science Laboratory, a department founded originally by Maurice Wilkes, a contemporary and colleague of Turing’s in the Maths Department. Drive past Newnham College, the all-women’s college attended by Joan Clarke; who was engaged to Alan Turing for a while (and featured prominently, though inaccurately, in the Imitation Game film), and later a lifelong friend of his, she got a double 1st in maths in 1939 and was recruited for Bletchley Park by Gordon Welchman. You will also see the River Cam – Turing was a keen rower whilst at Cambridge, and the Eagle pub, a favourite haunt of air force personnel and where Francis Crick first announced that he and James Watson had discovered DNA. Then to the Gothic splendour of Kings College and its chapel with its medieval stained glass, where he read the lesson on several occasions. We will visit the archives here too – not normally open to the public – which include original documents taken from the Papers of Alan Turing, illustrating his short life. These include letters the young schoolboy wrote to his mother, photographs taken throughout his life, some of his publications including the famous ENTSCHEIDUNGSPROBLEM paper - the foundation document of computer science, his dissertation to earn a Fellowship at King's, and the notes he was working with on morphogenesis at the end of his life. The tour will also take in Trinity College, where his grandfather studied maths, as did Welchmann and Tutte (Bletchley Park codebreakers) and which has a long mathematics history dating back to Isaac Newton – a descendant of his famous apple tree remains.
Back to Northampton for evening dinner with wine and talk by Dr Mark Baldwin, entitled "The Enigma and the Battle of the Atlantic." Mark will bring his own rare four-rotor Enigma machine for guests to examine.
Day 3: Bletchley Park and the Museum of Computing
Morning visit to Bletchley Park and the Museum of Computing, including guided tour. Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire was Britain's main decryption establishment during World War II, and where Turning was a pivotal figure. Here, you will visit Turing’s office recreated to how it would have looked during the Second World War and discover the ingenious mathematical techniques and devices that Turing and his colleagues designed to crack the Enigma messages. For a time he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis and he devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method and an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements, including the Battle of the Atlantic; it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by as many as four years and was so crucial that Winston Churchill acknowledged his role, saying that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory. He was awarded the OBE in 1945. Whilst here we will also visit the adjacent National Museum of Computing for a guided tour of an institution that houses the world's largest collection of functional historic computers, including the rebuilt Colossus, the world’s first electronic computer, and the WITCH, the world's oldest working digital computer.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Northampton Marriott Hotel
Located close to J15 off the M1, the modern, four-star Northampton Marriott Hotel offers a bar, restaurant, indoor pool and gym. All bedrooms are comfortable with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities.
Northampton Marriott Website
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
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Excellent talk on the first evening by Hal Hodson. Demonstrated nicely how naive the current users are about their personal data and its use by Google etc...
Review by Dr Erkki Karjalainen who travelled 04-November-2016
booked though New Scientist no brochure
Review by Mr Peter Haddad who travelled 04-November-2016
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