From 1927 to 1945 he was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where his 1935 lectures on Foundations of Mathematics inspired Alan Turing to embark on his pioneering work on computing machines. Newman was appointed head of the mathematics department at the University of Manchester, England, in 1945 and transformed it into a center of international renown, retiring in 1964.

He was heavily involved in the design of the Colossus computer, used to crack the Lorenz cypher in World War II.

Newman wrote *Elements of the topology of plane sets of points*, a definitive work on general topology. He also made major contributions to combinatorial topology.

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