A cryptic note found in the pocket of a dead man in the woods. Secret messages encoded using telephone touch tones, passed between anti-apartheid activists in South Africa and London. A German monk whose encryption techniques had him accused of witchcraft. A team of codebreakers who cracked a World War Two cipher machine without ever having seen one.

Welcome to Season 3 of One-Time Pod, a podcast on the history of cryptography produced by students in Derek Bruff’s first-year writing seminar at Vanderbilt University. Each episode considers a different code or cipher, how it works, and why it’s interesting.

For more on Dr. Bruff’s first-year seminar on cryptography, visit the course homepage: https://derekbruff.org/blogs/fywscrypto. For more on his podcast assignment, read his 2019 blog post, “Building a Better Podcast Assignment,” available here: https://derekbruff.org/?p=3558. And for more examples of student-produced audio, check out Dr. Bruff’s other podcast, VandyVox: http://vandyvox.com/.

Intro music: “To Be Decided,” Mystery Mammal, CC-BY