[ugrads] [Mathclub-members] Kryptos code breaking competition

John Erickson john.erickson at iit.edu
Thu Apr 10 08:17:32 CDT 2014

Hi Math Club members,

If you already received this notice, please disregard. Professor Kaul has
just made us aware of an undergraduate code breaking  competition. See

Professor Erickson

Dear students,

I just received this announcement for an undergraduate code breaking
competition starting tomorrow. If you are interested in participating, I
can help you register as a team (of threes).
See below for details.

Please pass on the message to any students outside our department who might
be interested.


Hemanshu Kaul
Associate Professor of Applied Mathematics
Illinois Institute of Technology

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cheryl Beaver <beaverc at wou.edu>
Date: Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM
Subject: [NExT] Kryptos 4: An undergraduate code breaking competition
To: next05-07 at lists.maa.org


We wanted to bring to your attention an exciting opportunity for your
undergraduate students:

*KRYPTOS4: A Series of Cryptanalysis Challenges*

*April 10 - 14, 2014*

KRYPTOS4 is a contest open to undergraduate students.  The theme of the
contest is centered around the breaking, or cryptanalysis, of ciphers
(secret writing). Each challenge presents contestants with a brief scenario
together with some ciphertext (encoded message). The goal is to discover
the original English plaintext message!

Clues to help break the cipher may be contained in the actual ciphertext or
in the details of the accompanying scenario.

While it is not the intent of this contest to test overly technical aspects
of cryptanalysis or advanced mathematical algorithms, some familiarity with
basic codemaking and codebreaking is certainly helpful. Some useful sources

·         Challenges from last year's

·         The American Cryptogram Association <http://cryptogram.org/>.

   - Wikipedia entries for
    and Cryptanalysis <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptanalysis>
   - *The Code Book* by Simon Singh.
   - *Secret History: The Story of Cryptology* by Craig Bauer
   - *Codes and Ciphers *by R.F. Churchhouse
   - *Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing* by Martin Gardner

We had over 100 students from around the Pacific Northwest participate last
year and many have been clamoring for more!  Please announce this contest
to your students!

Visit: http://www.cwu.edu/math/kryptos/ for more information -- including
instructions on registering students for the contest and a one-page flyer
that you can post around your department or campus.

Thank you,

Stuart Boersma , Central Washington University

Cheryl Beaver, Western Oregon University

KRYPTOS is sponsored by the Pacific Northwest Section of the Mathematical
Association of America together with Central Washington University and
Western Oregon University.

Cheryl Beaver
Associate Professor
Mathematics Department
Western Oregon University
beaverc at wou.edu
(503) 838-8404


John Erickson, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer

Department of Applied Mathematics

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL 60616

Office: Engineering 1, Room 110

email: john.erickson at iit.edu

Phone: (312) 567-8915

Fax: (312) 567-3135

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