2003 Conferences

Lectures by Dr. Simon Singh (April 2, 2003)

Simon Singh, author of The Code Book, journalist and TV producer, will be speaking in Waterloo on Wednesday, April 2, 2003. The Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and St. Jerome's University, together with the Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research (CACR) at the University of Waterloo, are sponsoring two lectures.

Dr. Singh will speak on Cracking the Cipher Challenge from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in PHY 145 at the University of Waterloo. A reception and book signing by Dr. Singh will follow immediately afterwards.

The second lecture, Mathematics of Chance, is presented as a Public Event hosted by the Perimeter Institute. Dr. Singh will speak from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Waterloo Recreation Complex.

About Dr. Simon Singh
After completing his PhD in particle physics at Cambridge University, Simon Singh became a science journalist. He is the author of two bestselling books, Fermat's Enigma and The Code Book. Previously he was a producer and director in the BBC TV Science Department. He has recently presented programmes (The Science of Secrecy, Five Numbers, The Serendipity of Science, Mind Games) on British radio and television.

Cracking the Cipher Challenge
Abstract: In The Code Book, a history of cryptography, the author Simon Singh included ten encrypted messages with a prize of $20,000 for the first person to decipher all of them. Thousands of amateur and professional codebreakers took up the Cipher Challenge, but it took over a year before the messages were cracked. Simon Singh will be talking about how he constructed the Cipher Challenge and how the winners eventually cracked it. He will also be using the Cipher Challenge to give an introduction to the history of cryptography and to demonstrate why encryption is more important today than ever before. In particular, he will discuss what the Cipher Challenge can teach us about Internet security.

The talk on "Cracking the Cipher Challenge" will be held at the University of Waterloo in PHY 145. Attendance is free, but you need to register prior to March 31 by calling Sherry Shannon-Vanstone at (905) 854-6363 or email: sshannon@sviconsulting.com.

The Mathematics of Chance
Abstract: Simon Singh looks at how chance, risk and uncertainty influence our world, from the courtroom to the doctor's surgery, from the paranormal to the casino. Indeed, our lives are dominated by the laws of chance ...an oxymoron if ever there was one. But how can mathematics help us exploit risk? Simon shows how probability theory leads to truths that confound our intuition and he explains how it can help us to live, thrive and survive.

The talk on "The Mathematics of Chance" will be held at the Waterloo Recreation Complex, 101 Father David Bauer Drive, Waterloo. Attendance is free, but tickets are required and can be reserved via phone: (519) 886-2375, (519) 886-1177, e-mail: tickets@city.waterloo.on.ca or can be picked up directly at the Waterloo Recreation Complex, ticket reservations desk. A small number of tickets will be available at the door on the evening of the lecture.