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Celebrating cracking codes

Published: 14 March 2012Origin: Mathematical Sciences
Cipher book cover

Code crackers from around the UK will gather at Bletchley Park Code and Cipher Museum this month for a special prize-giving ceremony for the 10th Cipher Challenge run by Mathematics at the University of Southampton.

Every year hundreds of teams compete to see who can crack the code first and this year the competition challenged teams to uncover the secrets of the Tempest Conspiracy.

They had to decrypt the enemy’s devious codes and ciphers and reveal the history of a criminal agency that played a major role in world history.

The winners will receive their prizes at the special ceremony at Bletchley Park (home of the Second World War code breakers) on 30 March. The event will be hosted by the British Computer Society and guest of honour will be former winner Jonathan Millican who was recently named the UK's Cyber Security Champion for his excellent performance in the GCHQ-sponsored competition.

Guests at the ceremony will get the chance to enjoy an interesting talk from main speaker Dr Katie Chicot, Lecturer with the Maths Inspiration Show, and they will also have a grand tour of the museum.

Mathematics has been running the popular event for the past 10 years in conjunction with sponsors GCHQ, the Chartered Institute for IT BCS, IBM, Trinity College Cambridge and internet services company Netcraft.

This year’s winners are:

  • GCHQ prize of £1,000 – King Edward’s School, in Bath
  • IBM prize of £800 – King Edward’s School, in Birmingham
  • Trinity College Cambridge prize of £700 – Dartford Grammar School for Girls


The top 20 teams on the overall leader board will also receive collectors’ items Targus Backpacks from Netcraft.

For more information please contact Mathematics Education outreach team

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