The Alan Turing Cryptography Competition

From the people behind the MathsBombe Competition.
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Do you like breaking codes and solving ciphers?
Can you, and your friends, unravel the Interactions of the Isolated Investigators?
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 tenth year, the Alan Turing Cryptography Competition is aimed at secondary school children in the UK 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!

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

Cryptography competition 2023

The cryptography competition will continue in 2023. Details on exact dates will follow towards the end of 2022.

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

The competition will start on Monday 17th January 2022, with problems being released on subsequent Monday afternoons at 4pm (UK time).

The organisation of the competition in 2022 will be as in 2021, but different from 2020 and earlier years. While we are still releasing puzzles, the competition is open to the public with no registration. Unfortunately there won't be prizes or a Cryptography Day in 2022.

Although you can't register a team for the competition this year, you are welcome to team up with your friends and attempt the puzzles together. You will be able to check if your solution is right, and we'll let you know if you are the first person to find the solution for that puzzle!

If you'd like some practice, puzzles from previous years are available in the archive.

If you would like to be notified about this and future Cryptography competitions, please sign up for an email reminder.

Who was 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.

MathsBombe 2021

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 2022 is organised by the The Department of Mathematics at The University of Manchester.
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