During the 2012 and 2014 offerings of this course, I invited my students to write about the history of cryptography for Wonders & Marvels, a history blog edited by Vanderbilt professor Holly Tucker. The original posts, with comments, are available on Wonders & Marvels. Below you'll find copies of the posts, stored here as a back-up.
For more on the collaboration with Holly Tucker that led to these essays, see my blog post, "Teaching Cryptography, Writing History."
- 347 if by Land, 588 if by Sea: The Story of the Culper Spy Ring
- Fialka: The Bigger, Better, Russian Enigma
- Rongorongo: The Key to Future Cryptography
- The Simply Complex Cipher: Chaocipher
- Let's Play Fair: A Deceptively Simple Cipher
- Handwritten Russian Cipher Stumps FBI
- Unsolved: Dorabella Cipher
- Napoleon’s Guide to Improperly Using Cryptography
- Shakespeare's Secrets: A Hidden Cipher in Literature's Greatest Works?
- Secrets Abroad: A History of the Japanese Purple Machine
- The Zodiac Ciphers: Messages from a Murderer
- Rasterschlüssel 44: The Stencil on Steroids
- Mysterious Cipher Cracked 300 Years Later
- Prying Open the Pigpen Cipher
- The Lorenz Cipher and the World's First (Secret) Computer
- What’s In A Book? A Brief History of Book Ciphers