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Hidden Figures

Activity 2

Hidden Figures

Group 1

[Alan Turing] is credited with breaking the Enigma code in 1941. [...] After the war, Turing built on these ideas to develop something closer to the computer we recognize today. Turing’s life and tragic end by suicide following years of persecution and “treatment” for his homosexuality were immortalized in the 2014 film The Imitation Game. [...]

Shortly after the invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939, a group of cryptanalysts were evacuated to France. The group consisted of employees from the Polish Cipher Bureau who had been working on the German Enigma code. [...] Rejewski’s work on the Enigma code was very significant. As early as 1932, while still in Poland, he developed an in-depth understanding of how the machine worked. He even managed to reconstruct its internal wiring without ever having seen the machine.

Rejewski is credited with doing groundbreaking work that allowed the code finally to be broken by Turing in 1941.

Rejewski returned to Poland after the war. For a long time, he kept quiet about his remarkable code breaking skills to avoid the government becoming interested in him. [...]

Due to the secretive nature of their work, many cryptanalysts never received recognition for their work until many years later. But their contribution to the war effort was hugely significant.

“The Imitation Game: Who Were The Top Code Breakers of WWII?”, Eileen Farrelly,, 2019.

Get ready! Pick out the equivalents of the following words in the text.

1) approfondi (adj.) ➜
2) câblage (n.) ➜
3) révolutionnaire (adj.) ➜
4) extrêmement (adv.) ➜
Voir la correction

a. How did Turing die? Why?

b. Why were many cryptanalysts not credited for their role during World War II?

Voir la correction

What is the goal of the article? Justify.

    Voir la correction

    Group 2

    Pour ce groupe, retrouvez le document vidéo en cliquant ici.

    Get ready! Listen to the following words and use them to guess what the video is about.

    ex 1

    Bletchley Park
    break Enigma code
    Alan Turing

    Voir la correction

    a. Watch the video. Pick out elements to fill in these categories.

    Joan Clarke’s action in the war Her relationship to Alan Turing Women’s emancipation

    b. What did Keira Knightley have to do to play her role accurately?

    Voir la correction

    a. What is the goal of the document?

    b. What is Keira Knightley’s opinion on Joan Clarke?

    Voir la correction

    Groups 1 & 2
    Let's recap! Present the heroine / hero of your document and her / his action during the war. Explain why they were not credited for their role during World War II.

    Useful vocabulary: On the one hand, women were not... On the other hand, some cryptanalysts were in danger as... It was a question / matter of...

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