This week the Scholars were visited by math professor Derek Bruff for a tutorial in cryptography and a discussion of their book club novel, S.  It was a fascinating, wide-ranging discussion, leading from the movies Nicolas Cage to the work of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace.  Scholars learned all about the different ciphers (substitution, shift, Atbash, keyword, polyalphabetic substitution, Vigenère Square, Eötvös Wheel), searched for them in the novel, and even solved a couple of their own.  Next thing you know they’ll be communicating in code!

Image from “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage” by Sydney Padua.