Give the reasons behind your decision to become a programmer.

Group work. Explain why it is difficult to write a program.

Unit 13


    Reading and Vocabulary

Student A

1. Match the definitions/explanations in A (1 – 7) with the words in B (a – g):

1 the state of being famous a legendary
2 facts or physical signs that help to prove something b exist
3 be real, appear in the real world c fame
4 famous, known only in legends d Enigma
5 someone or something that is mysterious and difficult to understand e evidence
6 rough treatment that a person or thing suffers f prime
7 most important, leading g punishment

Read the article below and complete it with a word from the task 1 (column B).

Alan Turing

    Alan Turing was born in 1912 in London. He is a 1_____ figure after whom the ACM’s Annual Turing Award is named – computer equivalent of the Nobel Prize. His 2_____ comes from the work he did when he was 23 while studying at Cambridge University, the work that was fundamental in a field that did not 3_____ yet: computer science.

    Turing was taken by Hilbert’s claim that mathematics would be decidable, that is, there would be a mechanical procedure for determining whether any statement was true or false. Turing developed an abstract form of computer (before computers existed) to carry out mechanical procedures. This mathematical computer, which now bears the name Turing machine, is still of great interest today. Turing gave convincing 4_____ that the Turing machine was universal: any computable function could be written as a Turing machine.

    In 1939, Turing began to work for the British Government. During the Second World War the Germans often sent messages written in a secret code. Turing began working on a computer to break this code. He worked with other mathematicians at a secret place called Bletchley Park. They knew that the Germans were using machines called 5_____ to send messages in code. To read and understand these messages you had to have another Enigma machine – and, of course, only the Germans had these. The Bletchley team, whose key player was Turing, built a machine called the Bombe. (Some Polish mathematicians had already built a machine called Bomba to try to break the Enigma code. They worked together with the British to build a new and better machine.) By 1943 all German messages had been deciphered.

    In 1943, the Germans started using a different code. The British called it ‘Fish’. It was much more difficult to understand than the Enigma code. The Bombe machine could not break this code, so the people at Bletchley needed a new computer. In one year, they built Colossus. This was one of the world’s first electronic computers which could read and understand programs. Colossus got its name because of its size: it was as big as a room. It was able to understand different codes because it could do thousands of calculations every second. Without Colossus, it took three people six weeks to decipher a message written in the Fish code; using Colossus, the British needed only two hours to do this. A modern PC from the year 2000 can’t do the work any faster.

    Turing was also a 6_____ developer of both the electronics and architecture of the British computer ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) in 1945–1946 and was the first to recognize the full potential of a stored-program computer that could create its own instructions. His paper written in 1949 is viewed as the first instance of a program-correctness proof.

    The last two years of Turing’s life are a sad commentary on the times. In 1952 he was accused of homosexuality. His 7_____ was a year of probation, but he felt no guilt. His intellectual life went on as before. However, in June 1954, with no warning and no note of explanation, he committed suicide by taking cyanide.


Find the words or phrases (1 – 7) in the text above (2) which are explained / defined (a – g)? The first and the last letter are given to help you.

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