Cryptography: The Private History of Secret Codes

image courtesy Bob Lord
78a7e62a seeable

Taught by Jonathan Soma

Soma was born in the South, is what someone from the North would say. He co-founded the Brainery, is the sciencey half of Masters of Social Gastronomy, and plans on getting married to Waffle House. In his more droll moments he is a tragic sellout to higher ed as a professor of data journalism at Columbia University's journalism school.

See more @dangerscarf

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Secrets have always been kept, but they're most fun down on paper.

We'll work our way up from the Caesar cipher to quantum cryptography: surveying history, doing some experiments, and learning how all of this affects us in the now.

Cryptography casts a pretty big net. It shows up in war (cracking the Nazi's Enigma machine), in peace (deciphering ancient languages), and everywhere in between (secret decoder rings!). Daring stories of intrigue and espionage will be making an appearance.

Learn methods for encoding secret messages: pass notes in my class that I'll have no chance of understanding with a one-time-pad, or opt for something less secure and get tripped up by frequency analysis!

A spate of rhetorical questions about Cryptography And You: What's it mean to have your computer password-protected? How does https:// make anything secure, and how can people break into your wireless network? How secure is something like Dropbox?

At the end of this class you will know cool stories and fear passwords.

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