• Camp Type: Overnight, Day
  • Age of Campers: 14 - 17
  • Gender of Campers: Coed
  • Year Established: 2014

Practically since human beings began writing, they have been writing in code and these ciphers have decided the fates of empires and nations throughout recorded history. At this interdisciplinary camp we will break down cryptology into three courses of study.

In one course participants will learn the history of cryptology from Julius Caesar to the NSA and debate the ethics of spying and encryption. In another course participants will learn elementary computer programming in Python to implement their code-writing and code-cracking skills. The remaining course will focus on the mathematical theory behind cryptography and crytanalysis - the mathematics involved will include statistics, number theory, combinatorics, and matrix algebra. Each of these courses will involve a culminating project or challenge - these include an essay or short story, a computer program, and a series of puzzles and challenges.

Additionally, prior to arriving at camp, the students will be able to meet each other online at a password protected web site. The site will include readings (both fiction and non-fiction) and discussion topics that will introduce the students to some of the basic ideas they will be studying. This is a great opportunity for the students to get to know each other in advance.

As well as providing a stimulating academic experience, this camp will be fun! Once participants have gained some cryptological skills, they will challenge each other in code-cracking relay races and scavenger hunts that will lead them to explore Duke's beautiful campuses.

Program Highlights:

  • Interdisciplinary approach to learning about cryptology
  • Online readings and discussions between students prior to arriving at camp
  • Statistics topics relevant to the new Common Core curriculum
  • Introduction to computer programming in Python
  • Application of theoretical mathematical concepts to real-world challenges
  • Scavenger Hunts on Duke's campus
  • Culminating team and individual projects
  • Co-curricular social and recreational activities
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