History of Cryptography and Codes

History of Cryptography and Codes

Saturday 19 May 2018 (All day)
Birkbeck, London

Each year in May we run a history of mathematics conference at Birkbeck, organised by the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM), and supported by the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck.

This year's event will look at the development of codes and cryptography from their origins to the present day. An exciting programme is planned, with six speakers on a range of topics in this area, including Clifford Cocks, the British mathematician famous for inventing in 1973 what's now called the "RSA" encryption algorithm (5 years before its independent discovery by Rivest, Shamir and Adleman). His work was classified at the time, so his contribution only came to light almost a quarter-century later.