Agnes Meyer Driscoll
Like Yardley, Agnes Meyer Driscoll was born in 1889, and her most significant contribution was also made during World War I. Driscoll worked as a cryptanalyst for the Navy, and as such broke many Japanese naval coding systems. In addition, Driscoll developed many of the early machine systems. Apart from being significantly intelligent for any person of her time and age, Driscoll was also unusual in terms of her gender. Her interests led her to technical and scientific studies during her college career, which was not typical for women of the time (NSA). When she enlisted in the United States Navy during 1918, Driscoll was assigned to the Code and Signal section of Communications, where she remained as a leader in her field until 1949.
As mentioned above, Driscoll's work also involved remerging technology in terms of machine development. These were aimed not only at creating ciphers, but also at breaking them. At the very beginning of her naval career, Driscoll helped develop the CM, one of the first cipher machines used by the U.S. Navy. Among the codes Ms. Driscoll succeeded in breaking include the Red Book Code in the 1920s and the Blue Book Code in 1930 (NSA). In 1940, she provided critical insight into the Japanese fleet operational code. The U.S. Navy was able to use this work to their advantage after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Driscoll's contribution then involved not only her developments in the new technologies of the time and her success in breaking codes for the critical success of her country; she also provided women with a sound example of what the female mind and heart were capable of. Furthermore, she provided...
Rowlett (Kovach, 1998), could pursue their work in cryptography during World War II. In addition to the United States, other countries such as the U.K. And Poland also yielded significant code breakers during the World Wars.
Among these are Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki, and Henryk Zygalski from Poland, and Alan Turing from the U.K. Particularly, these cryptographers were significant in their contribution to deciphering the German Enigma.
Decoding the Enigma
The German Enigma machine was particularly complex and problematic in terms of cryptography, as moving rotors resulted in no letter being used for the same code twice (NSA). The countries most concerned with German attack at the time included Poland, France and the U.K. The initial breakthroughs were made by Poland, and specifically by Marian Rejewski by the application of permutation theory. He was later joined by Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Rozycki, who provided further insight to the point where some German messages could be decoded by the beginning of World War II in 1939. Being obliged to flee from German invasion, the Polish mathematicians eventually reached British, shores, where they shared their knowledge. Alan Turing led the British in building upon the Polish work. The result was a success that was not total, but sufficient to eventually use the German messages against the Nazis.
Kovach, Karen. Frank B. Rowlett: The man who made "Magic." INSCOM Journal, Oct-Dec 1998, Vol. 21, No 4. http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/inscom/journal/98-oct-dec/article6.html
Ligett, Byron. Herbert O. Yardley: Code Breaker and Poker Player. Poker Player, 3 Oct 2005. http://www.*****/viewarticle.php?id=681
McNulty, Jenny. Cryptography. University of Montana, Department of Mathematical Sciences Newsletter, Spring 2007. http://umt.edu/math/Newsltr/Spring_2007.pdf
National Security Agency. Agnes Meyer Driscoll (1889-1971). http://www.nsa.gov/honor/honor00024.cfm
National Security Agency. How Mathematicians Helped Win WWII. http://www.nsa.gov/cch/cch00006.cfm
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