The  Imitation  Game

Moxie Cinema Springfield, MO


Dr. Les Reid

Professor of Mathematics, Missouri State University

The Imitation Game— The Math Behind the Code, Then and Now

A discussion of the math that goes into code-breaking, both as featured in the film and today.

Moxie Cinema Springfield, MO

Film Synopsis

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Told via flashback, The Imitation Game tracks the young, brilliant, and socially awkward mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the early days of World War II as he applies for a top-secret position tasked with decoding the “unbreakable” Nazi cipher machine called Enigma, used to encrypt all military radio transmissions. Turing's team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyzes Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. His work was famously labeled by Winston Churchill as “the greatest single contribution to victory.” But after the war he suffered great personal and professional turmoil, as he dealt with his homosexuality in a time when it was illegal. The film was nominated in eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. It won for Best Adapted Screenplay.

About the Speaker

Dr. Les Reid is a professor of mathematics at Missouri State University. He received PhDs from Duke University and the University of Missouri-Rolla.