If you came up with a way of speeding up the process of multiplication but only for numbers with more digits that possible settings on an Enigma machine, you might ask why? In a fascinating lecture, Mr Eastley of the Maths Department first skilfully traced how the operations for carrying out multiplication developed from the Ancient world through the Russian Mathematicians of the early 20th century to the most recent “breakthroughs”.

The members of the Year 9 Athenaeum were clearly caught up in the spirit of the journey as their perceptive questions indicated. And the answer to my original question? Well it may lie in the field of cryptography or perhaps as Mr Eastley said in an area one of our students may investigate in the future. Though, given the age of Turing at the time of his most pioneering work, they haven’t got long left!