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Section 3.4 Additional Resources

Please find the bibliography below. High praise is reserved for Tim McDevitt and Frank Arnold’s text [cross-reference to target(s) "mcdevittClassNotesCryptologic2012" missing or not unique], which is provided to the author’s students as a resource (and from which exercises are sometimes assigned as homework). Simon Singh’s The Code Book [cross-reference to target(s) "singhCodeBookScience2011" missing or not unique] is an excellent, richly detailed, and deeply readable source for the historical and sociopolitical context of cryptography as well as entertaining descriptions of the underlying mathematics. The Cipher Challenge at the back of the book leads students through all of the ciphers described therein; the author uses it as a way for students to earn extra credit by solving a set number of the ten parts. In order to emphasize the human aspects of cryptography and its contemporary relevance, one may have students watch a video or read about the NSA/GCHQ and other cryptographic agencies as well as their recent political activities. Given that the NSA is the United States’ largest employer of Ph.D. mathematicians, and in the context of the revelations of Edward Snowden and other recent whistleblowers, this discussion remains deeply relevant.