The National Security Agency’s Center for Cryptologic History sponsors a biennial Cryptologic History Symposium, and the next conference will be held 17-18 October 2013. Historians from the Center, the Intelligence Community, the defense establishment, and the military services, as well as distinguished scholars from American and foreign academic institutions, veterans of the profession, graduate and undergraduate students, and the interested public all will gather for two days of reflection and debate on relevant and important topics from the cryptologic past.
Past symposia have featured scholarship that set out new ways to consider out cryptologic heritage, and this one will be no exception. The intended goal is to foster discussion on how cryptology has impacted political, diplomatic, economic, and military tactics, operations, strategy, planning, and command and control throughout history. Any serious researcher whose work touches upon the historical aspects of cryptology defined in its broadest sense is encouraged to participate. The conference will provide many opportunities for interaction with leading historians and other distinguished experts. The mix of practitioners, scholars, and interested observes always precipitates a lively debate promoting an enhanced appreciation for the context of past events.
The theme for the upcoming conference will be “Technological Change and Cryptology: Meeting the Historical Challenges.” The practice and application of cryptanalysis and cryptography have been radically altered as the evolution of technology has accelerated. Conference participants will delve into the technical, scientific, methodological, political, and industrial underpinnings of signals intelligence and information assurance as presented throughout a broad swath of history. While presenters may choose to focus on purely technological topics, the panels will include papers on a broad range of related operational, organizational, counterintelligence, policy, and international themes. The audience will be particularly interested in new findings on the intersection of technology and cryptology as signals systems evolved from manual to machine-assisted to digital formats.
The Symposium will be held at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Center, in Laurel, Maryland. This location is central to the Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., areas.
At this time, interested persons are invited to submit proposals for a single presentation or even a full panel. The topics can relate to this year’s theme, but all serious work on any unclassified aspect of cryptologic history will be considered. Proposals should include an abstract for each paper as well as biographical sketches for each presenter. To submit proposals or form more information on this conference, contact the Symposium Executive Director at the listed telephone number and email address.
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