Books & Publications

Enigma Uncovered

Publication is due for autumn 2024.

Enigma Uncovered, co-written with my husband Howard Jennings, aims to bring the world of the Enigma machine and codebreaking during the Second World War to the nontechnical reader.

Background: World War 2 (WW2) saw the establishment of a group of mathematicians, scientists, linguists and several thousand lay people at a site called Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, England. Their role during the war was to break coded messages that were sent by the Germans via radio signal. The Enigma machine was one of the methods used to code these messages. The machine was slowly developed into a form by the Germans that was believed to be so sophisticated that the messages coded by it could not be broken. Despite this, the team at Bletchley Park were able to use their expertise (together with that of Polish mathematicians before them in the 1930s) to crack the codes as early as 1940.

The book serves as a general guide to the Enigma machine covering the mechanical workings, the coding, the breaking of the code and the history. The explanation of the complicated coding and codebreaking of the Enigma machine is unique and uses everyday language and examples.

Our book gives particular attention to the Enigma I model which was the one most widely used during WW2. A clear description of the development the Enigma I machine is given along with a backdrop of comparisons to other models. A chapter is devoted to the mechanical workings of the Enigma I using rare photos of a dismantled machine as illustration. The coding process of the Enigma I is described in simple steps and a demonstration is given as to why the coded messages it produced were so difficult to break. We explain with simple examples why the number of possible codes is so high as this is often difficult for people to understand. Stories about the personalities involved in the history of the Enigma machine are told to keep the reader interested.

Our target audience is anyone with an enthusiastic interest in the Enigma machine and a basic grasp of everyday mathematics. This group could contain visitors to the Bletchley Park Museum and parents who wish to understand codebreaking so they can explain it to their children. Those interested in subjects such as history of science, cryptography and military history may also be interested.

Databases for Small Business

Essentials of Database Management, Data Analysis, and Staff Training for Entrepreneurs and Professionals

My first book was Databases for Small Business which covers the practical aspects of database design, data cleansing, data analysis and data protection, among others. The focus is on what you really need to know to create the right database for your small business and to adapt it to create growth and revenue.

The book is a practical guide for entrepreneurs, managers, staff and professionals in small organisations who are not IT specialists but who wish to take advantage of their data. The reader is shown how to extract actionable intelligence and maximum value from their business data in terms of marketing, sales, customer relations, decision making and business strategy.

Four case studies are used throughout the book: a small online business, an engineering startup, a small legal firm and a nonprofit organisation.

Databases for Small Business teaches non-techie entrepreneurs and professionals how to:

  • Design a small business database from scratch
  • Extract the maximum profit from the data
  • Effectively use data collection and data cleansing techniques
  • Train staff to leverage the data

Academic Publications

I worked in academia for eight years as a postdoc researcher at the Department of Computer Science at Manchester University. My work focused on the design of search algorithms for data protection. These are used by statistical agencies around the world today including the United Nations, Statistics New Zealand and the Office for National Statistics in London. My academic publications are listed here.

The most prestigious of these publications is:

Anna M. Manning, David J. Haglin, John A. Keane:
A recursive search algorithm for statistical disclosure assessment. Data Min. Knowl. Discov. 16(2): 165-196 (2008)

which is a journal at the top of my field of data mining and knowledge discovery.