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History and Analysis of Cryptography Unit

“Each layer in a system builds upon previous layers”


Expectations--You will examine and understand the history of cryptography to further demonstrate the principle that each layer in a system builds on the layers which precede it. You will come to an understanding of cryptographic systems by deconstructing coded messages, then developing your own code systems. You will also have an opportunity to enter The Edgar Allan Poe Cryptographic Challenge, and try to solve a 150 year old mystery.

Introduction: In this unit, we will learn about the history of codes, and--by analyzing and breaking down some codes into sections--we will see how they are structured. We will continue that process by inventing codes of our own, attempting to break each other's codes during the next few weeks.

Let's start by clicking here and taking a quick pre-test about Cryptography. There's no pressure here, we just want to see what you already know.

After your pre-test has been sent, click here and see if the code in the window makes any sense to you.

Next, take a look at this.

When you return here [after solving the cryptogram that gave you your assignment], check with your teacher to find out the timetable they want you to follow while completing your assignment.  When they feel you are ready, click on the image below and take a look at The Edgar Allan Poe Cryptographic Challenge:

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Or, click on this link     http://www.bokler.com/eapoe.html.

This page's URL= http://www.crpc.rice.edu/CRPC/GT/msirois/Lessons/crypto/index.html


These pages were developed through GirlTECH , a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. Copyright July 1998 and July 1999 by Michael Sirois.

Thanks to the RGK Foundation for its generous support of GirlTECH.