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Cracking a Simple Cipher
Cracking Classic Ciphers
Team Research Project



The following assignments are intended to achieve the following goals:

  1. To help you learn the topics covered in the course, and give you practice in them.
  2. To help me determine how you are progressing, so that I can give any necessary help to compensate for any difficulties you might be encountering.
  3. To help me evaluate your performance for grading purposes.

There are two different kinds of assignments:

  • Regular assignments, where you have to solve a problem, or answer one or more questions.
  • A team research paper/presentation.  [Details TBS]

The Assignments

Here are the assignments:

Assignment 1: Cracking a Simple Cipher

Assignment 2: Cracking Classic Ciphers

Assignment 3: Probability

Team Research Project

The Rules

Whenever take-home assignments are counted towards a grade in a class, there is always a concern about who does the work for the submitted assignments.   A teacher who wants to prepare students for the real world, where people are encouraged to collaborate and to work in teams, is faced with a dilemma:  Should collaboration be allowed, or should it be considered plagiarism?

I have decided that it is impossible for me to try to force you to do each assignment totally independently, and to verify whether or not you did.  Furthermore, to do so would be to ignore the reality of the outside world, and the students' preparation for it.  So here are the rules that I have decided to set:

  • You can work individually, or in collaboration with others (not too many, else it will get too complicated! -- perhaps a maximum of 2 or 3 people.).

  • In either case, you submit your own individual solution to the assignment, with your name on it.

  • In your submission for each assignment, I expect you to say:

    • Who worked on the assignment (list of names)

    • How each of these people contributed to the assignment.

    • Give an estimate of what percentage of the work each contributor did.

Remember:  If you don't work on the assignments, you are only punishing yourself in the long run.  When you get out in the real world, you will be expected to know the material you learn in these college courses.  It is usually quickly apparent when you do not.


This page was last changed on January 21, 2008