On the occasion of the birthday of computing pioneer Ada Lovelace, Kat Orman of BBC Radio Oxford interviewed another inspiration to young women seeking to enter the computing profession: Irene Dixon. She was one of the Colossus operators who, at Bletchley Park, helped to break enemy cyphers during World War II.

In this well-researched interview, Irene speaks about her work, and many of her colleagues including mathematician Max Newman, and Tommy Flowers who enabled the construction of a reliable Colossus. She also recalls the secrecy of the operation for, after the war, her husband’s contribution was publicly acknowledged, but hers was not. During the division of Europe, it became clear that the German cypher equipment had been copied by members of the Warsaw Pact, and so Bletchley Park’s secrets could not be revealed for many decades.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *