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An Alan Turing expert watches the “The Imitation Game” trailer

We weren’t sure quite what to think about the recently-released trailer for The Imitation Game. We don’t know enough about either films or Alan Turing to give an authoritative opinion. James Grime, on the other hand, knows a lot about both…

The trailer for the highly anticipated new film about mathematician Alan Turing was released this week. Alan Turing was not only a mathematician, but also the father of computer science and World War II code breaker. The trailer itself looks fantastic and has me super excited to see the film when it is released this November.

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The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke. Clarke herself was a mathematician, Bletchley Park code breaker and, briefly, Turing’s fiancée.

The script featured on Hollywood’s blacklist, a list of the best unproduced screenplays, and tells the story of Turing’s early days at Bletchley Park, his work breaking the infamous German Enigma code, and his relationship with Clarke. An early draft of the script caused concern that it over emphasised Turing and Clarke’s relationship, and was accused of “straightwashing” the story of Turing, who was later arrested and convicted for homosexuality.

After seeing the trailer I am more confident it’s going to be done right. So let’s break it down:

Review(ish): Mathbreakers

We were first told about Mathbreakers a few months ago. It was at a very early stage of development, and it wouldn’t run on my PC. Now some time has passed, and I managed to run the most recent version last weekend. I’ve only played the demo, so a full review isn’t fair, but I thought I’d tell you about it in case you want to give it a go.

Warning: this post has like a bajillion animated GIFs in it. Your internet connection will suffer.

Mathbreakers is what I’d call an ‘edutainment’ game, though I think that term’s fallen out of favour. The developers, Imaginary Number Co., say it’s “a video game that teaches math through play”. It’s aimed at school kids, and deals with basic numeracy.

App review: Tydlig, a calculator app for iOS


You may remember that we previously posted about Tydlig, a new calculator app for iOS. We asked if anyone would be interested in writing a review, and Aoife, who’s written the article below, kindly obliged.

Tydlig is a reimagined calculator on iOS and provides an innovative, freeform canvas where multiple calculations can be built and organised in one space. It functions as a scientific calculator, but on an open workspace that you can control, with additional visual features. Elegant in its simplicity, Tydlig captures all of the necessary components of a calculator, while maintaining refined and intelligible functionality.

App review: Incredible Numbers, by Ian Stewart

Mathematician and author Professor Ian Stewart, helped by Touch Press and his publisher Profile Books, has recently released a new app for iOS (suitable for use on an iPad) called Incredible Numbers. We saw this tweet:

and how could we resist? We borrowed a nearby iPad, downloaded the app and had a play.