5 - At the Graduate College, Princeton  pp. 51-55

At the Graduate College, Princeton

By Sara Turing, John F. Turing, Lyn Irvine and Martin Davis

Image View Previous Chapter Next Chapter

The Farringdon Road market was a favourite haunt of Alan's: it was here that he picked up his violin, already mentioned, and here, I think, found the ancient sextant which was to be part of his equipment for his voyage to New York on 23rd September, 1936. He sailed steerage and I saw him off at Southampton. As we did not realize the extent of the docks we walked from the train to the steamer and the sextant was allotted to me to carry. Of all the ungainly things to hold, commend me to an old-fashioned sextant case. Though some readings were taken, what with the movement of the ship, and a defect in the instrument and Alan's inexperience, he doubted their accuracy. He heads his letter from the Berengaria 41° 20′ N 62° W.

A week after arrival at the Graduate College, Princeton, he writes: “The mathematics department here comes fully up to expectations. There is a great number of the most distinguished mathematicians here – J. v. Neumann, Weyl, Courant, Hardy, Einstein, Lefschetz, as well as lots of small fry. Unfortunately there are not nearly so many logic people as last year.” His next letter suggests some disillusionment. “Church had me out to dinner the other night. Considering that the guests were all university people I found the conversation rather disappointing. They seem, from what I can remember of it, to have discussed nothing but the different States they came from. Description of travel and places bores me intensely.”