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Mathematical Sciences

Cracking Codes: The Enigma Machine and Today

Date: 3:30pm - 4:30pm PST March 3, 2016 Location: John Howard 254

  • The Imitation Game
    The Imitation Game
    © 2014 The Weinstein Company. All rights reserved.

John Howard 254

Professor Michael O’Sullivan
San Diego State University


The story of the attack on the German WW II Enigma Machine led by Alan Turing was dramatized in the movie The Imitation Game. I will talk about the mathematical tools, the clever tricks, and the blind luck that led to the successful attack on the Enigma. I’ll also tell a few remarkable stories about historical events—and how they were bent in creating the movie.

I will end with a taste of the mathematical tools used to attack our internet communications.