On 6-7 October 2011, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies’ Dr. John Ferris and Masters candidate Maria Robson attended the Center for Cryptologic History’s biennial symposium, “Cryptology in War and Peace: Crisis Points in History”, in Laurel, Maryland. Maria is studying signals intelligence and communications security and had the opportunity to meet with scholars and former practitioners in the field. Dr. Ferris presented on two panels, speaking first on British naval cryptography and cryptology in World War Two, then on the role of signals intelligence in the 1922 Chanak Crisis. The conferences featured plenary sessions with cryptologic veterans who worked in signals intelligence in both World War Two and the Vietnam War. Dr. Ferris and Maria also took advantage of the trip to conduct archival research in Washington, D.C.
“The highlight of the conference for me was speaking with a former codebreaker who worked at Bletchley Park during World War Two. As a student of cryptology I found it fascinating to speak to someone with actual experience in code breaking. Overall, I appreciated having a chance to plunge into archival research in Washington this early in my Masters and to speak to individuals with experience in the field.” –Maria