The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Author: Derek (Page 1 of 21)

Podcast Assignment

See below for your podcast assignment. Outlines are due Wednesday, October 25th, and episodes (including show notes and a producer's statement) are due Wednesday, November 1st.

Rhett McDaniel, educational technologist at the Center for Teaching, will join us this Friday, October 20th, to show how to use Audacity to edit audio and to walk us through some of the podcasting resources he has collected.

I haven't set up the Souncloud site for our podcast, but it will eventually look something like the Health Policy Radio podcast that Professor Gilbert Gonzales produced with his class last fall.

Finally, for those interested in more robust training, the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL) is offering a series of workshops on audio production starting this Friday.

Bookmark #4

For this bookmarking assignment, you should finish the two tasks I gave you in class on Monday, October 16th, both focused on the history of cryptography timeline this class has been building since 2010.

  1. Select an existing entry in the timeline and improve it. Verify the description, as best you can. Make sure it has an image or other form of media associated with it, with appropriate credit. Include a credible source with a citation and/or link. Be sure to add your initials as a contributor.
  2. Add a new entry. For ideas, see our Diigo group, or the essays prior students wrote for Wonders & Marvels, or your textbook. Be sure to use a credible source and an image or other form of media, with citations and/or links. And include your initials as a contributor.

You'll do all of your editing in the Google spreadsheet I shared with you. Your improved / new entries are due by 9 a.m. on Friday, October 20th.

Blog Assignment #8

In preparation for your upcoming podcast assignment, I want you to listen to a few podcast episodes that deal with cryptography. Here's the list:

For your blog post, select one of the three podcast episodes above and respond to one or more of the following questions:

  • What did you find most interesting about the episode?
  • What did the podcast producer do to make the material interesting?
  • What did the producer do to make technical aspects of the material accessible?
  • Based on this episode, what ideas do you have for the podcast episode you will produce? (Consider both topic and format.)

Your blog post should be between 200 and 400 words and is due by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18th.

World War II Cryptography

In case they're helpful, here are my sketchnotes from our guest speaker, history professor Michael Bess, earlier in the week.

Problem Set #4

Here's Problem Set #4. It's due at the beginning of class on Monday, October 16th. (That's the day after fall break.)

And you might find these Excel files useful for the first question.

Blog Assignment #7

For your next blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words in which you respond to the following prompt.

There are many reasons Allied cryptanalysts (code breakers), such as those at Bletchley Park, were eventually victorious over German cryptographers (code makers). Singh argues that German overconfidence in the strength of Enigma was a primary reason. Identify at least one other reason, and make a case for as a significant reason for the Allied success. Consider both technical and social/cultural factors in the Allied and German crypto efforts.

Please give your post a descriptive title, assign it to the "Student Posts" category, and give it at least three useful tags. Your post is due by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 9th.

Problem Set #3

Here's your third problem set. It's due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, October 3rd.

And some resources that might be useful...

Blog Assignment #6

For your next blog assignment, read and comment on a blog post written by a student in a previous offering of this course, one that dealt with topics from Singh Chapter 3. Your response should be between 200 and 400 words, and it should expand upon, add nuance to, or debate assertions made in the original post. To find a post to respond to, I recommend you use the tags listed in the righthand column of the blog. Those are the most popular tags. You can also view all tags.

Leave your response as a comment on the original post. You'll need to click through to the post itself to see the comment field. Be sure to login before leaving your comment.  Your comment is due by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 2nd.

Bookmark #3

I maintain a list of Twitter users who provide information, resources, opinions, and occasionally humor about cryptography, encryption, surveillance, and privacy. Here are the members of my "Crypto" Twitter list, and here are their most recent tweets.

For your third bookmarking assignment, find and bookmark a Twitter user who should be added to my "Crypto" Twitter list. Look for scholars, researchers, journalists, or others who are active on Twitter and regularly provide useful perspectives on encryption and its role in our society today. When evaluating a potential addition, know that humor is fine, but crazy is not.

The goal here is to build a list of sources that will provide good material for your "practical crypto" and "security vs. privacy" papers later in the semester.

Your bookmark is due by 9 a.m. on Friday, September 29th. Please bookmark the Twitter user's account. The URL should have the form or something similar.

Online Participation Grade

A few of you have asked how the online participation portion of your grade will be computed. I address this briefly in class, but I thought I would go ahead and put it in writing here on the blog.

Your online participation in this course contributes 10% of your final course grade. At the end of the semester, I'll ask you to review your online participation in this course, compare your participation to that of your peers, and assess your contributions to the learning community. I'll ask you to give yourself an online participation score between 0 and 10 points, and email it to me with a justification (not more than a paragraph). If I think your score is reasonable, given your justification, I'll use that as your online participation grade.

To assess your online participation, focus on blog posts and bookmarks on Diigo, as well as other forms of online participation to come. In each of these areas, I usually ask you for specific contributions -- posts that responded to particular questions, or bookmarks about specific topics, or tags and comments that fit certain parameters. As you look over your contributions to the course, keep these requests in mind. Also consider how your online participation contributed to the learning of your peers in the course.

Page 1 of 21

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén