The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Author: Derek (Page 1 of 22)

Security vs. Privacy Resources

Some resources you might find useful as you write your security vs. privacy papers...

Here's the statement we argued during our in-class debate:

The US government should be given wide latitude to use electronic surveillance in the interests of national security, even if that means citizens’ privacy is not always respected.

And here are the notes that our notetakers took during that debate. (You should be able to view that Google Doc if you have a Vanderbilt student email.)

And several resources relevant to our discussion of Little Brother earlier in the semester, including a photo of the debate map we constructed.

And, finally, just in case it's helpful, your takeaways from the course, from our last class session:


Bookmark #6

For your sixth and final bookmark assignment, you should bookmark THREE resources of potential use for the "security vs. privacy" paper assignment. At least two of your resources should be from 2013 or later (that is, post-Snowden), and all of your resources should be from credible sources. (You might see what's being shared on my "Crypto" Twitter list.)

Save your bookmarks to our Diigo group, and give each of them at least two useful tags. Your bookmarks are due by 1pm on Friday, December 1st.

Paper #3 - Security vs. Privacy

Here's the info on your final paper assignment.

Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

The other day in class, I asked you to respond to this short, terrible play:

  • Teen: “If my dad monitored my Instagram, that would mean he doesn’t trust me.”
  • Dad: “If you’re not doing anything wrong, what do you have to worry about?”

First, I asked you to role play the teenager. How might you respond to the dad? Here's a capture of what you suggested.

Then, I asked you to role play the parent. Why might a parent want to monitor their teenager's social media use? We broke out the Post-it notes for this.

You did a great job exploring a position that most of you (it seemed) did not initially agree with. Keep this in mind when you're writing argumentative essays in the future. To make a compelling case, you have to take the other side’s perspective seriously, understand it, and respond to it.

Blog Assignment #10

For your next blog assignment, read Singh Chapter 7 and imagine you're writing a research-based argumentative paper on some aspect of the chapter. Draft one possible thesis statement for such a paper and share it in the comments below. Your statement should differ in some way from the ones that precede it. Your contribution to this thread is due by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, November 15th.

(This is something of a warm-up for your final paper assignment in this class, for which you'll put together a research-based argument on some aspect of the security/privacy debate.)


Paper #2 - Practical Crypto

Here's the info on your next paper assignment!

For a little inspiration, here's the Reply All episode we discussed today, "Is Facebook Spying on Me?"

Problem Set #5

Here's your fifth problem set. It's due at the beginning of class on Monday, November 6th.

Blog Assignment #9

For your next blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words in which you first quote, then react to a statement (a sentence or two) in Chapter 2 of danah boyd's book It's Complicated that caught your attention.  You might address how the statement affects your understanding of privacy, connections you see between the statement and other ideas we've discussed this semester, or your own opinions on the statement.

Please (1) give your post a descriptive title, (2) assign it to the "Student Posts" category, and (3) give it at least three useful tags. Your post is due by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8th.

Note: If you'd rather leave a 200-400 word response on a peer's post than start your own post, that's fine!

Bookmark #5

For your fifth bookmark assignment, find and bookmark an example of cryptography in the news.  Your bookmark should be a news story dated within the last two years. Tag your bookmark with "InTheNews," along with at least one other meaningful tag. Be sure you're bookmarking a credible source!

Your bookmark is due by 9 a.m. on Friday, November 3rd.

Math Exam

Update 11/9/17: Here's your review guide for the math exam on Friday, November 10, 2017.

I'll have a review guide for your math exam available at some point. In the meantime, please mark your calendars with these review sessions:

  • Monday, November 6th, 11am to 12pm
  • Monday, November 6th, 4pm to 5pm

They're optional, and you don't need to go to both, although you're welcome to do so. Both will be in our regular classroom at the Center for Teaching.

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