Enigma: A Roundtable with the Honors Program Co-Director

On Wednesday, November 12, Professor Monica VanDieren interestingly combined cryptography, history, and mathematics in her Honors Program Roundtable titled “Mathematics of Enigma”. Dr. VanDieren’s presentation looked at various forms of encryption, how they were used in the past, and ways in which they can easily be decoded with mathematics. The presentation focused on the Enigma machine, its components, its importance in World War II, the revolutionary Polish mathematicians that were able to predict the keys and decode messages sent from the Enigma machine, and the first programmable digital computer created by Alan Turing in order to decode the Enigma more efficiently. Each member of the audience, a large crowd of both students and RMU faculty, were given his or her own paper Enigma machine and shown how to use it. Professor VanDieren’s Roundtable was very entertaining and informational.

Nicole Stone



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