Cryptography

The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Category: Blog Assignments Page 1 of 6

Blog Assignment #5

For your fifth blog assignment, listen to the "Burning Down the Panopticon" episode of the podcast Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything and write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to the following prompt.

Benjamen Walker argues that "the Panopticon is a terrible metaphor" for "our conversations and debates about surveillance." Do you agree with this thesis? Why or why not?

Note that if you agree with Walker's thesis, you should extend his argument in your blog post in some interesting way.

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 Monday, September 23rd.

Blog Assignment #4

For your fourth blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to one of the reading questions for Singh Chapter 2.

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, September 19th.

Blog Assignment #3

For your third blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words in which you (briefly) summarize and react to a passage in Little Brother that caught your attention. You might address why it interests you, connections you see between the passage and other ideas we've discussed this semester, or your opinion on arguments made in the passage.

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 Monday, September 9th.

Blog Assignment #2

For your second blog assignment, read the 2011 essay "Mining Student Data Could Save Lives" by Michael Morris of California State University at Channel Islands and write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to the following prompt.

What is the central argument Morris makes in his essay? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?

This is a chance to practice your summarizing skills and to construct a (brief) response to an author's thesis. Feel free to draw on personal experiences in your response, if that's relevant.

Please give your post a descriptive title, and use the "Student Posts" category for your post. Also, give your post at least three tags, where each tag is a word or very short phrase (no more than three words) that describe the post's content. You're encouraged to use tags already in the system if they apply to your post.

Your post is due by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, September 2nd. If you have any technical problems using WordPress, don't hesitate to ask.

Blog Assignment #1

For your first blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words that responds to one of the reading questions for Singh Chapter 1.

Please give your post a descriptive title, and use the "Student Posts" category for your post. Also, give your post at least three tags, where each tag is a word or very short phrase (no more than three words) that describe the post's content. You're encouraged to use tags already in the system if they apply to your post.

Your post is due by 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 26th. If you have any questions about sharing your first post here on the blog, don't hesitate to ask.

Here are some basic instructions for posting to WordPress that you might find useful. Also, via xkcd, here's the secret to using any kind of computer technology.

Blog Assignment #12

Okay, this is it: your final required blog post. For this assignment, write a 200 to 400 word post that responds to the question below that matches your role in Monday's debate. Note that we'll be debating this statement:

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.

Here are the questions:

  • Pro - You'll argue in favor of this statement, so what are two or three reasons you find compelling to support the statement?
  • Con - You'll argue against this statement, so what are two or three reasons you find compelling to counter the statement?
  • Jury - You'll evaluate the arguments made by the Pro team and the Con team, so what criteria are you planning to use to evaluate those arguments?
  • Notetakers - You'll take notes during the debate, so what are two or three aspects of this debate (issues, arguments, examples) that you feel are essential to the debate?

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 Monday, December 3rd.

Blog Assignment #11

For your next (last?) blog assignment, write a post between 200 and 400 words in which you respond to one of the following questions concerning the RadioLab episodes "Darkode" and "Ceremony," which you should listen to before class on Friday.

  1. Given what you heard in the RadioLab episodes, what advice would you have for a fellow college student about internet privacy?
  2. What's one argument you could make relevant to the security vs. privacy debate based on evidence shared in the RadioLab episodes?
  3. What steps did the podcast producer take to make the material more interesting or accessible?

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 30th.

Blog Assignment #10

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 Monday, November 12th.

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

Blog Assignment #9

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 2nd.

Blog Assignment #8

In preparation for your upcoming podcast assignment, I want you to listen to a few podcast episodes that deal with cryptography. Listen to at least three episodes from the lists below, including at least one episode from List A and at least one episode from List B.

List A:

List B:

For your blog post, select one of the 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 10th.

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