Secrets and systems

The soldier, the engineer, the mathematician and the man

Working with Enigma In the first lecture we survey the history of cryptography and its modern concepts. We give a detailed account on the principles of Enigma systems.

We present the work done by Polish and British mathematicians before and during World War II in the breaking of the Enigma system.

EnigmaIn the talk, we present a working original Enigma machine which we borrow for this occasion from the Warsaw Museum of Technology and Industry.

The second talk is planned about the person of Alan Turing, the code-breakers' work in Bletchley Park and its recent appreciation in the United Kingdom.


who changed the course of World War II.

Henryk Zygalski

Marian Rejewski

Jerzy Różycki

Alan Turing


Lecturers, date and venue


Dermot Turing

Dermot TuringSir Dermot Turing worked for the Government Legal Service and then the international law firm Clifford Chance, where he was a partner until 2014. His specialism was financial sector regulation, particularly the problems associated with failed banks, and financial market infrastructure.

As well as writing and speaking, Dermot Turing is currently a trustee of Bletchley Park and of the Turing Trust. He continues his interest in the financial world.

He published several monographs on the life of Alan Turing and the history of Bletchley Park. His latest book X Y & Z: The Real Story of How Enigma Was Broken was published in September 2018.

Gábor Péter Nagy

GP NagyGábor Nagy is professor of the Algebra Department of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. His research field includes algebra, finite geometry and discrete mathematics.

These areas of mathematics are strongly related to cryptography and the theory of error correcting codes. This explains Gábor Nagy's personal interest in the Enigma story. He is also involved in the research project SETIT - Security Enhancing Technologies for the IoT of NKFIH.

Date and venue

Date 2018-10-29 Thursday, 15h – 17h
Venue Assembly Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
1051 Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 9.

Organization and support

Organizers BME Institute of Mathematics
Wacław Felczak Foundation
Supporters Embassy of Poland in Budapest
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Section of Mathematics
Responsibles Dr. Karol Biernacki
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland in Szeged
Dr. Gábor Péter Nagy
head of the Department of Algebra
BME Institute of Mathematics