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Colossus: The Greatest Secret in the History of Computing

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The achievements of teams at Bletchley Park in breaking the German Enigma code during WW2 are well known and have been in the public domain for some time. What is lesser known, and what still remains somewhat shrouded in secrecy, is the development of the Colossus computing engine to break the Lorenz cipher used by the Nazi High Command. The details of this have only emerged relatively recently and have rewritten the history of the development of electronic computing in the 20th century. Cambridge mathematicians feature strongly in the story, most notably trinity’s own Bill Tutte. This lecture will describe the development of the Colossus machine and the problem which it was built to solve.

This talk is part of the Trinity College Science Society (TCSS) series.

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