Cryptography

The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Author: Derek Bruff Page 2 of 29

Updates and Reminders

It’s a busy week, so here are some reminders and updates.

  • I have added a ninth problem to Problem Set 5. Be sure to download or print the latest version.
  • I’ve posted your blogging assignment for Friday, asking you to respond to one of the reading questions for Singh Chapter 7.
  • My drop-in hours this week are Tuesday 3-4, Wednesday 2-3, and Friday 2-3. Appointments are always welcome, too.
  • Your podcast episodes are due by the start of class tomorrow. Please post your MP3 files and producer’s statements to Brightspace, in the assignment area. To submit your show notes, draft (but do not publish) a blog post with an episode description and information about your sources, including your references in APA format and your audio sources. Here’s an example. Use the “Save Draft” button to save your show notes.
  • And once you’ve submitted your podcast, you’re encouraged to start studying for the math exam scheduled for Friday, November 8th. I’ve posted a study guide with lots of practice problems (and solutions) for you to use.

Math Exam Study Guide

The math exam, scheduled for Friday, November 8th, will cover the mathematical concepts and techniques we’ve explored this semester.  The exam will not involve any codebreaking, although some questions on the exam may draw on cryptography for context.  You are encouraged to bring a calculator (scientific or graphing) to the test, but you will not be allowed to use a laptop during the test.

For a topic list and suggested practice problems (with solutions!), see the study guide.

Blog Assignment #10

For your next blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to one of the reading questions for Singh Chapter 7.

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 Friday, November 1st.

Problem Set #5

Here is your fifth and final problem set. It’s due at the beginning of class on Monday, November 4th.

Blog Assignment #9

For your nextblog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to one of the reading questions for Singh Chapter 6.

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, October 23rd.

Online Participation Check-in

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 (a paragraph or two). If I think your score is reasonable, given your justification, I’ll use that as your online participation grade.

Your assignment for Monday, October 14th, is to email me your self-assessment of your online participation in this course as it stands now. This is your chance to reflect on how you’ve been contributing to our little learning community.

To assess your online participation, focus on blog posts and bookmarks on Diigo, as well as other forms of online participation, if any. 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.

Podcast Assignment

Here are the details on your podcast assignment, along with a draft rubric I’ll use for assessing your podcast episodes.

At some point soon, I’ll show how to use Audacity to edit audio and to walk you through some of the podcasting resources my Center for Teaching colleague, Rhett McDaniel, has collected.

Blog Assignment #8

For your next blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to one of the following questions about your assigned reading in Code Girls by Liza Mundy:

  1. What roles did gender play in the life and work of American codebreakers during World War Two? (This is a broad question, so feel free to use one of the reading questions on pages 379-380 in the book to guide your response.)
  2. How important was codebreaking to the success of the Allies in World War Two? What elements led to American success in this arena?

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 Friday, October 11th.

Problem Set #4

Here’s Problem Set #4. It’s due at the beginning of class on Friday, October 18th.

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

Bookmark Assignment #4

For your next bookmarking assignment, find and bookmark a resource on military cryptography. You’re welcome to look for something on the military of the past, or something more current. Be careful to select a resource that’s credible. Save your bookmark to our Diigo group, and tag it with “military” and at least two other useful tags.

Your bookmark is due by 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 9th. We’ll take a little time in class to share your finds. If you have any questions about using Diigo, don’t hesitate to ask.

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