German Enigma Machine Research Project

/ 1 May 2008

Tomorrow is the last day of the 3rd Quarter of 10th Grade for me, as Crosswinds goes on a Year-round calendar. In English class during this 3rd Quarter we’ve spent all of our class time (as well as hours of out-of-class time) individually working on a huge research project.

We got to choose the topic that we wanted to do the project on as long as it fit into the specific time frame we were given of (I think) 1910-1979). My first project idea was to do something on the history of UNIX, but, as those who are experts at the history of UNIX should know, it was never really part of the time frame I was given. I really wanted to do something related to computers, but had no real idea beyond UNIX, which I’d already decided wouldn’t work. My English teacher introduced me to the Enigma Machine as a possible topic.

After throughly researching the Enigma Machine (introductory research only) I decided to use the Enigma Machine as the topic for my research, and renamed the project from simply “Enigma Machine” to “German Enigma Machine”. So for the next two weeks I spent a huge chunk of time in and out of school doing extensive research on the German Enigma Machine focusing primarily on the history of the German Enigma Machine (inventor, construction, operation, etc.), and the history of the breaking of the code of the German Enigma Machine (how, who, where, when, etc.).

After I had completed that research I had pretty much narrowed my topic down to the basic history of the invention of the German Enigma Machine, and the history of how it’s code was broken during World War 2. The next step was to create an outline to base my paper on, that took just two class periods to complete, then I was ready to write the paper.

Unfortunately, I became sick for some of the class periods in which I’d have learned better techniques for writing an outline and translating it over to a paper. So, in my extreme eagerness to begin writing my paper I started my paper during the days that I was sick (but before my outline was complete). I actually started the paper even earlier during a Career Class study hall time, but ended up rewriting most of that during the time that I was sick.

A couple of weeks later I had finished the paper writing (that was earlier this week) and turned it in on Tuesday (April 29, 2008). That same day I uploaded all the content related to my research project (that is my actual paper, my outline, raw images, an internet sources log, timeline events, and all my notes) to my wiki so that anyone who wants to (and has the time to) can read and possibly enjoy my research project.

Please feel free to read any and/ or all of the content of my German Enigma Machine research project. I’ll openly accept any feedback you may have in the comments for this blog post or in email (if you know my email address). Enjoy, Alex.