I would like to brag on the students in the fall 2012 offering of this course. You may recall that they blogged regularly here on the course blog during the semester. That was, in part, to prepare them for their second major writing assignment, which asked them to write a blog post on a code or cipher we hadn't already covered in the course and pitch it to Vanderbilt professor Holly Tucker, editor of the blog Wonders & Marvels. Professor Tucker graciously led one of our class sessions last fall, helping the students understand the nature of her history blog and its audience.
Eight of the fifteen students in the course successfully pitched their blog posts to Professor Tucker and followed through with posting their writing on Wonders & Marvels. I'm proud of these students for being willing to share their work with such a big audience--Wonders & Marvels receives about 30,000 visitors each month.
One of the students has since connected with an even larger audience: Alberto Perez's post, "How the US Cracked Japan's 'Purple Encryption Machine' at the Dawn of World War II," was republished by the science blog io9, which had over 650,000 visitors last month. Congrats to Alberto for writing such an interesting post!
Below are links to all eight crypto posts that appeared on Wonders & Marvels. Take a few minutes and read through the students' great work!
- "What's in a Book? A Brief History of Book Ciphers" by Malak Ellmousallamy
- "The Lorenz Cipher and the World's First (Secret) Computer" by Emily Dinino
- "Shakespeare's Secrets: A Hidden Cipher in Literature's Greatest Works?" by Kristin Davis
- "Prying Open the Pigpen Cipher" by Marco Tiburcio
- "Mysterious Cipher Cracked 300 Years Later" by Annie Vreeland
- "Rasterschlüssel 44: The Stencil on Steroids" by Justin Yeh
- "Secrets Abroad: A History of the Japanese Purple Machine" by Alberto Perez
- "The Zodiac Ciphers: Messages from a Murderer" by Neil Sareen