Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a British scientist whose pioneering research made fundamental contributions to Computing, Mathematics and Biology:

  • establishing fundamental limits to what computers can and can't do: the Halting problem;
  • developing techniques and hardware to break encrypted information: the Bombe;
  • designing one of the first digital computers: the ACE;
  • characterising requirements for artificial intelligence: the Turing test;
  • exploring the mathematical basis of how living things form and grow: morphogenesis.

In recognition of these accomplishments, the anniversary of Turing's birth is being celebrated internationally in 2012.

The Heriot-Watt University “Turing's World” Short Story competition invites people aged 15-19 studying Computing in UK schools to write a short story influenced by Turing's work. There are no limits to what a story might be about or where or when it is set, provided it clearly picks up themes from Turing's contributions. Stories should be a maximum of 2,500 words, written in English and printed rather than handwritten. The winning stories will be published.

The competition will be judged by staff of the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, and by guest judge Ken Macleod, the best selling Science Fiction author.

Prize winners

  1. Freya Jackson - The Grammar School at Leeds (England)
  2. Sean Jacobs – Liberton High School (Scotland)
  3. Christopher Carson - Loreto College, Coleraine (Northern Ireland)

Each of the prize winners will receive a £75 Amazon voucher.

You can find out more about Alan Turing online or from Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: the Enigma, Vintage, 2012

Important dates

  • Submissions deadline: 28th Dec 2012
  • Decisions: 30th April 2013
  • Prize giving: 28 June 2013