Bletchley Park, the central site for British codebreakers during the Second World War, is celebrating the centenary of Bill Tutte's birth with a new exhibition.

Tutte, a Cambridge graduate from Newmarket, unravelled the working of the Lorenz machine, a more complex system than the well-known Enigma.

The Lorenz were rotor stream cipher machines used by Hitler and the German high command.

His discoveries allowed Bletchley Park to decode some of the most top-secret messages sent during the war and paved the way for the creation of Colossus, the world's first semi-programmable electronic computer.

Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, said:

"Bill Tutte's impact at Bletchley Park during the Second World War is equal to the importance of his legacy to mathematics and computing today."

The display will feature a series of lectures exploring the life and works of the renowned mathematician.

After the war, Tutte's work in graph theory led to some of the key mathematical developments that have shaped the internet today, such as the science behind search engines.

WW2 Bletchley Park Codebreaker Celebrated In Centenary Exhibition

Tutte's successes were on a par with those of Alan Turing, who led efforts to break the Enigma system, yet Tutte received no recognition from the government during his lifetime.

Dr David Kenyon, Research Historian at Bletchley Park, said his contribution was a "turning point":

"The Allies' understanding of the German plans in France prior to D-Day is very significantly based on Fish [Lorenz] intercepts rather than Enigma. Had they not had this intelligence, their understanding would have been much weaker."

After leaving Bletchley Park he was appointed a Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, before emigrating to Canada, where he became a renowned mathematician and professor at Waterloo University, near Toronto. He died on 2 May 2002, aged 84.

The exhibition 'Bill Tutte: Mathematician + Codebreaker’ will be on until the 18 December 2017.

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