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Renowned WWII code breaker to speak at Memorial University

Ref. No. 128

DATE:     May 7, 2002
SUBJECT:     Renowned WWII code breaker to speak at Memorial University

One of the men responsible for breaking German codes during the Second World War will speak about that experience at Memorial University this week.

Peter Hilton will deliver a public lecture titled Working with Alan Turing on Breaking High Grade Ciphers during WW II. The lecture will be held on Thursday, May 9, in the Engineering Lecture Theatre, room EN-2006, at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Just before the Second World War got under way, a secret code-breaking project was established at Bletchley Park north of London, in Britain. The best mathematicians and cryptographers were brought together to crack the Enigma and later, the Geheimschreiber codes.

From 1943 until the end of the war in Europe, in May 1945, the team was concentrating on a new German code, the Geheimschreiber ("Secret Writer"), which Hitler regarded as a symbol of German superiority. Among the members of the team were the great logician Alan Turing, now considered one of the founders of computer science, and Henry Whitehead, who did groundbreaking work in algebraic topology. Peter Hilton joined the team as a teenager, in January 1942, and worked closely with Turing and Whitehead. This presentation offers a rare opportunity to hear a first-hand account of one of the most fascinating stories of the Second World War.

Peter Hilton is now Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York in Binghamton.


For further information, please contact Deborah Inkpen, acting manager, Memorial University News Service, 737-8665.


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