“The Imitation Game” --The Power of Mathematics
That was it; my brain wouldn’t register anything anymore, thanks to the terrible insomnia I suffered the night before. With terrible headache and blinding dizziness, the last place I wanted to be in was at the monotonous three-hour each English and computing classes! Yeah, you know what I meant? Elementary and obvious stuff-word document, excel, power point etc. All I wanted was to just go home and launch straight into the bed, so badly. But I couldn’t. My friends had a plan-the plan to go watch movie. “Come on, you should come, it will be fun”, says everyone, almost dragging me on.
Yeah, why not, being a nice (obedient? :) ) friend that I am, I hopped into the Bus to the Randwick city. My friends are a good mix of Cambodian, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Mongolian, Indonesian and Fijian. The good thing about our group is that there is only one from each country, meaning we don’t have to deal with people conversing in their own language. The only complain if I may call is the disagreement that we encounter every time we decide to choose the restaurant-some needs Halal, some hate seafood while some love, some don’t eat pork and beef while some eat eggs but not chicken (that’s me!). If one is really hungry, this is not a group to be in in the very first place!
|Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing |
After a few minutes of manoeuvring, we arrived at the Ritz Cinema. “The Imitation Game” was the movie they had chosen and even managed to buy the tickets the day before. Yeah, for all of us! I had not a clue of what it was about. All I cared was that it was not an animation movie! Just in case I informed my friends that I might fall asleep in between and made sure they don’t leave me alone in the theatre long after they are gone! But little did I know that the movie that was up would enter into my list of best movies based on true story. The 114 minutes movie is based on the true story about the World War II which features Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing who was an English Mathematician known for his high intelligence from a very young age, recognized by the teachers but not respected! :( His expertise in cryptography takes him from Cambridge University to the newly created British’s Intelligence Agency MI6, where he was tasked to crack Nazi codes, Enigma - which cryptanalysts had thought unbreakable. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyses Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. As expected his journey isn’t a smooth sail. It is quite saddening and frustrating to see how bureaucracy blocks his way, but Turing and team finally succeed and become heroes. As per the endnotes, his invention of the machine which he named Christopher in memory of his childhood friend had helped shorten the war by 2 years and saved millions of lives.
So, see, this is an intense mathematics being put into real practice! Now, I have an answer to people who wanted to know why crazy people like me ‘love’ mathematics and devotes life and time in learning the subject. A friend of mine recently asked me, “What is there in mathematics which needs more in-depth study on?” Another friend nods in agreement with her. I tried convincing her that if everybody thinks like her and not take effort to learn mathematics, then there will be a time (not too far) with not a single mathematics teacher. They don’t seem to be convinced going by their plain expression. “What is there? Even engineers can teach mathematics,” comes out the response almost instantly. Well, apart from feeling little pity about the lack of understanding of the applicability and multi-disciplinary nature of the mathematics, I couldn’t debate head on. I retrieved myself feeling defeated after this, “Yeah Engineers can teach, tell this or that happens, apply that formula, BUT won’t be able to say WHY this or that happens!” There are more to mathematics than the mere numbers and formulas which normal people think it to be! But I think the part of the problems lie with the mathematics teachers ourselves for failing to communicate and teach the applications part to our students. As a result of which our students become engineers, teachers, officers with no gratitude for mathematics and its enormous ability to solve world problems like-Enigma! Mathematics is after all far more than being ‘boring and tough’ subject.
In doubt? Go watch “The Imitation Game”! :) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
P.S. However, despite all those historic discoveries and contributions to the humanity, this quiet genius (Alan Turing) met a disgrace after the authorities revealed he was gay and forced to take hormones. He committed suicide in 1954.