Have you ever wished that you could do something heroic to help your country? When Alan Turing was a boy, he was fascinated by math and science. Later, Turing's math skills would help Great Britain win World War II.
Turing's parents and teachers thought he'd be better off dropping math in favor of more gentlemanly studies, such as literature and Latin. But he stuck with it, and by the start of World War II in 1939, he was ready to take on the biggest challenge his country faced: Nazi Germany. Turing put his advanced knowledge of math to work decoding secret German messages. His ideas not only helped Great Britain turn the tide of the war—they provided the foundation upon which much of modern computing and artificial intelligence is based.