Cracking codes with the real Enigma

James Grime, formally of the University of Cambridge Millennium Mathematics Project, took pupils and staff on a mathematical adventure through the history of codebreaking from Caesar ciphers to RSA internet encryption. James, who brought along a fully functional World War Two Enigma machine, spoke passionately about the impact mathematics has had on the history of politics and warfare. 

 

Pupils from Years 7 to 10 attended a lecture in the morning followed by workshops through the day where they learned how to break codes and ciphers. Students in Years 11 to U6, along with many staff, attended an advanced lecture in the evening where James spoke in more depth about modern-day internet encryption. It was an excellent day for all those involved and one the Maths and Modern Languages Faculty plans to repeat regularly in the future.