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Mathematical Objects: Enigma machine with Tom Briggs

Mathematical Objects

A conversation about mathematics inspired by an Enigma machine. Presented by Katie Steckles and Peter Rowlett, with special guest Tom Briggs.

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View D-Day via real-time tweets of Enigma intercepts from Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park are planning to real-time tweet the D-Day landings on their 75th anniversary, via decrypted German Naval Enigma messages intercepted on site.

The Bletchley Park website explains:

To coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this Thursday 6 June 2019, Bletchley Park will be live tweeting minute by minute, in real time 75 years to the day, decrypted German Naval Enigma messages intercepted on site during the 6 June 1944 operation.

Starting from 23.58 GMT on 5 June, when German naval units were put on alert, to the following night by which time 156,000 Allied troops had landed by sea and air, the messages reveal how the Germans slowly realised that the Allied invasion in the West had begun. The Western Allies had landed in Normandy and not Calais as the Germans had been led to believe.

The 182 messages will be posted on the Bletchley Park twitter account @bletchleypark starting at 00.58 (GMT+1) and ending at 23.38 (GMT+1) – the times they would have originally been intercepted on 6 June 1944.

Update: If you are following the messages, it may be useful to know that Bletchley has produced a glossary of terms used.

An Alan Turing expert answers your The Imitation Game questions

imitation game faq

The Imitation Game is the new film starring Sherlock Holmes as Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, and Keira Knightley as Kate Winslet as Joan Clarke. Together they are two mathematicians in World War II trying to build a bombe. The film will soon be available on DVD, blu-ray, and as an animated GIF set on tumblr.

These are the Imitation Game FAQs.

Not mentioned on The Aperiodical this week

My name is Aperiodical, king of kings;
Look on my news queue, ye Mighty, and despair!

Among other lessons not heeded by your fearless editorial trio this week are those of queueing theory. Our news queue has got a bit out of hand, so it’s time to take drastic action. Here’s what we were going to cover this week, but didn’t get round to. Some of the stories have been stewing in the queue for quite a while, so hold your nose.

Maths Jam July 2012 – Paper Enigma

Having discovered this wonderful design for a paper Enigma machine, which uses a standard size crisp tube and does a pretty good job of encoding things like an Enigma machine, I decided it was worth trying it out. What better opportunity to use something which can encode secret messages than to send messages between two monthly Maths Jam events via the medium of Twitter? The public sending of the messages would be incomprehensible to anyone not willing to get their hands dirty with a crisp tube and scissors. Unless they’ve got an actual Enigma machine.

Talk: Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine, by James Grime

James Grime has written an all-new talk, titled “Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine”, which he’ll be delivering 5:30-6:30 on Tuesday the 12th of June at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Clarkson Road, Cambridge.

Alan Turing was one of our great 20th century mathematicians, and a pioneer of computer science. However, he may best be remembered as one of the leading code breakers of Bletchley Park during World War II. It was Turing’s brilliant insights and mathematical mind that helped to break Enigma, the apparently unbreakable code used by the German military. We present a history of both Alan Turing and the Enigma, leading up to this fascinating battle of man against machine – including a full demonstration of an original WWII Enigma Machine!

You can find more details of the event on the Millennium Mathematics Project site.

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