Intro to Solving — Lesson 1

Before the age of computers, we used electromechanical rotor machines [ERM] to solve difficult mathematical problems. Shortly after World War I, a German engineer created the Enigma cipher ERM, which was used to encrypt communications. Prior to World War II, Polish cryptologists build the ‘bombe’, a specialized ERM, in an effort to break the Enigma cipher. During WWII the British furthered the capability of these bombes. German radio operators had a habit of starting their reports from the fronts with the weather report – this gave the bombes a chance to crack the cipher. Without this usage flaw, it would have taken more time to crack the codes than they had before the Enigma settings were changed. Out of this work came Colossus, the first programmable electronic digital computer. With modern computational resources like clusters and cloud computing, cracking an Enigma cipher can be done in minutes.


In this lecture, we will learn about the computational considerations for different simulation needs; and the options available to speed up the solution time for optimizing designs.


Alternate video link.


Here are the accompanying handout slides for this lesson.