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The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition

From the people behind the MathsBombe Competition.
You are reading the website of the 2020 edition of the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition, which ended on Wednesday 8 July at 11:59 pm
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The Alan Turing Cryptography Day 2020

The 2020 Alan Turing Cryptography Day has been cancelled

More information

Do you like breaking codes and solving ciphers?
Can you, and your friends, unravel the Tale of the Bouncing Bombe?
Would you like the chance to use your mathematical skills to win some great prizes?

Then the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition is for you!

Now in its ninth year, the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition is aimed at secondary school children up to Year 11 (England and Wales), S4 (Scotland), Year 12 (Northern Ireland). You don't need to be a computer whizz or a mathematical genius — you just need to keep your wits about you and be good at solving problems! (check your eligibility)

The competition is organised by the Department of Mathematics at The University of Manchester and sponsored by Skyscanner.

Who was Alan Turing?

Photo of Alan Turing In his relatively short life, Alan Turing — code-breaker, mathematician and founding father of computer science — made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology, and the mathematical theory of computability.

Why is cryptography important?

Cryptographical techniques are used everywhere in modern everyday life. For example, Whatsapp and many similar programmes use encryption to prevent eavesdropping, many websites use encryption to process credit card payments securely, and banks use it so that people can safely do their internet banking at home. Here you can find a quick introduction to cryptography.

Sounds great! How can I take part and what do I have to do?

The competition starts on Monday 27 January 2020, and you can register your team (or join an existing team). A team consists of at most 4 members. Registration opens on Monday 2 December 2019 (you can request an email reminder on the registration page). See the this section for more details.

The competition follows the story of two young cipher sleuths, Mike and Ellie, as they get caught up in a cryptographic adventure 'The Tale of the Bouncing Bombe'. Every week or two a new chapter of the story is released, each with a fiendish code to crack (see the release dates). There are six chapters in total (plus an epilogue to conclude the story). Points can be earned by cracking each code and submitting your answer. The leaderboard keeps track of how well each team is doing. (See the FAQ for how the scoring works.)

Competitors may find a printer helpful, but this is not essential.

What can I win?

1.If your team are the first to solve any of the six chapters, then each team member wins £15 in Amazon gift vouchers.
2.Each member of the teams that finish in first, second and third place on the leaderboard win £30, £25 and £20, respectively, in Amazon gift vouchers, and the teams' schools will win a trophy.
3. Each chapter also has a number of spot prizes: for each chapter, spot prizes (of £10 Amazon gift vouchers per team member) can be won by up to ten randomly chosen teams — but you'll have to be fast: spot prizes can only be won before the next chapter is released!

(See the FAQ and rules for how the prizes are determined and how they are sent out.)

The prizes are kindly sponsored by the flight search company Skyscanner. Skyscanner was set up by two former computer scientists from The University of Manchester, two people who directly benefited from Turing's contributions to Manchester and computing.

Announcing the Alan Turing Cryptography Day 2020!

Now that you're an expert cryptographer, you'll want to show off your new skills in person! Join us at the Department of Mathematics at The University of Manchester on Wednesday 29 April 2020 for plenty of code-breaking action, a live cryptography mini-challenge, and the prize ceremony for the competition winners!

Click the link for more details about the Alan Turing Cryptography Day.

MathsBombe 2020!

MathsBombe is the sister competition to the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition. Aimed at A-level students and those taking Scottish Highers or those taking GCSE, the competition features a series of mathematical puzzles to solve. Visit the MathsBombe site for details.

Alan Turing Cryptography Competition 2020 is organised by the The Department of Mathematics at The University of Manchester.
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