Demonstration of a Homemade Enigma Machine

Dr Reuben Binns
Event date
Event time
11:00 - 12:00
Kellogg College
Banbury Road
Venue details

The Hub

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

The Enigma machine is a cypher device developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic, and military communication. It was employed extensively by Nazi Germany during World War II, in all branches of the German military.

This talk by Kellogg Fellow and Associate Professor of Human Centred Computing, Dr Reuben Binns will start with a presentation, including some background on the history of mechanical cypher machines like the Enigma which was broken at Bletchley park; why and how Reuben built his own during the Covid-19 lockdown, and updated it since; and some reflections on what this process taught him about the challenges of electromechanical computing, security and usability, and the changes in modern manufacturing and supply chains.

This will be followed by a Q&A and a demonstration where you can see the homemade Enigma machine in action and have a go at encrypting and decrypting a message.

This event is onsite in the Kellogg Hub. Refreshments will be provided from 10.30 am.

Bletchley Park Week

This event is part of Kellogg College's annual Bletchley Park Week programme of events celebrating a partnership between Oxford and Bletchley Park. This year’s Bletchley Park Week looks at the role played by students recruited to work at Bletchley, as well as how Oxford’s colleges and other British universities contributed to the second World War.

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Please note:

This event will be photographed and may be filmed. If you do not wish to appear in the photographs/footage, please let the photographer/videographer know. Should you have any further queries, or unable to attend after booking, please contact