Puzzled: The Underlying Mathematics of the Enigma
School: MCCURDY HIGH
Area of Science: Mathematics
Puzzled: The Underlying Mathematics of the Enigma Machine
The problem is to create a mathematical model of the mechanical operation of a classic coding machine
The team plans to review in detail how the Enigma Machine of World War II could encode messages. This will involve a review of an extensive literature review which exists for this machine. In particular, the team is concerned with how the machine mechanically created a difficult-to-break code. In turn, the team is concerned with understanding how cryptographers in the Poland and Britain were able to successfully “crack” the coding done by the machine.
One mathematical component is to explain the underlying mathematics of the machine’s mechanical behavior. The second mathematical component is to create a statistical model which could be used on a present day computer to decode messages created by an enigma machine. A model of the Enigma Machine is available on the Internet which creates coded messages. The math model is meant to decode a message created on such an Internet model.
Sponsoring Teacher: Robert Dryja
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