Registration is now open for the 5th annual Kryptos Competition:
KRYPTOS5: A Series of Cryptanalysis Challenges
April 16 – 20, 2015
KRYPTOS5 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 include:
Challenges from last year's contest.
The American Cryptogram Association.
Wikipedia entries for Cryptography and 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 nearly 100 students participate last year and many have been clamoring for more! Please announce this contest to your students! Cool prizes are sent out to first and second place winners!
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.
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.