COVID Cryptography

Eli Whitney Museum

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The making and breaking of Codes.

The Art and Science of Cryptography

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Cryptography is about the making and breaking of codes, and this class will examine code-making and code-breaking in all its forms. We will examine simple and complex alphanumeric codes, the substitution codes used to create cryptic messages and cryptograms, Morse code, and a host of othertypes of codes that have been used throughout history.

We will look at the most current mainstream uses for code, chiefly data encryption and algorithms. Participants should expect a wide variety of code-related experiences over the course of the five-day program given the shear volume of codes and code-based applications.

Construct a working version of a remarkable substitution machine that Eli Whitney built for Decius Wadsworth in 1818. The original device is now at the Hamden Historical Society. The Defense Department requisitioned it for study in World War II. Construct a practice key to study the code that New Haven’s Samuel F.S.B. Morse created in 1838.

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