The enigma of cryptography (age 13–15)

10.30am to 3.30pm, Tuesday 2 August

The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London

This event has already taken place

  • Enigma machine.

  • Type

    Summer Schools 2016
  • Speakers

    • Tom Briggs


Standard £50

Ri Young Members £42.50

Event description

In this workshop with Tom Briggs, students will learn about different codes and ciphers that have been used throughout history, as well as some of the methods used to break them. Students will work their way up from early military ciphers like Caesar shift until they end up at one of the most famous ciphers of all: Enigma. They will get the chance to interact with a real, working World War II Enigma machine – and then make their own to take home.

About the speaker

After thirty years as a nerd (including seven years as a mathematics teacher) Tom Briggs suddenly found himself in the ultimate geek job: traveling the length and breadth of the land in the company of an actual Enigma machine from World War II. Together they spread the story of Bletchley Park's codebreaking heroes far and wide and make the most of an excellent opportunity to spread enthusiasm for mathematics.

Please note

This workshop is strictly for 13–15 year-olds and will include a 45 minute supervised lunch break. Students will not be able to leave the building at lunch time unless permission is given at the time of booking. Students should bring lunch and a drink, pens, pencils and a calculator.

Mathematics Summer School workshops are based on Ri Masterclasses. Students who have attended a Masterclass series which included a session on a similar topic may have already seen some of the content in this workshop. Please contact us on with any questions.

Refunds can only be issued for tickets cancelled at least two weeks (14 calendar days) in advance of the event date. Please note that this supersedes our normal event terms and conditions.

Financial assistance

The Potential Trust may be able to offer financial assistance to enable children to participate in Summer Schools if this would otherwise be difficult.

Please contact Anna Comino-James preferably on 01844 351666 or via email at for more information.


Ri Young Members receive 15% off workshops

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