Faculty Development Newsletter

2013-2014: issue #4 - October 15, 2013

Fac Dev Website

Faculty Corner

Dooley, Cryptography

By John Dooley, Computer Science

- Traces the history of the conflict between cryptographer and cryptanalyst
- Explores in some depth the algorithms created to protect messagesSuggests where the field of cryptology is going in the future

The science of cryptology is made up of two halves. Cryptography is the study of how to create secure systems for communications. Cryptanalysis is the study of how to break those systems. The conflict between these two halves of cryptology is the story of secret writing. For over two thousand years governments, armies, and now individuals have wanted to protect their messages from the "enemy". This desire to communicate securely and secretly has resulted in the creation of numerous and increasingly complicated systems to protect one's messages. On the other hand, for every new system to protect messages there is a cryptanalyst creating a new technique to break that system. With the advent of computers the cryptographer seems to finally have the upper hand. New mathematically based cryptographic algorithms that use computers for encryption and decryption are so secure that brute-force techniques seem to be the only way to break them - so far.

This work traces the history of the conflict between cryptographer and cryptanalyst, explores in some depth the algorithms created to protect messages, and suggests where the field is going in the future.

- Introduction: A Revolutionary Cipher
- Cryptology Before 1500: A Bit of Magic
- The Black Chambers: 1500-1776
- Crypto goes to War: 1861-1865
- Crypto and the War to End All Wars: 1914-1917
- The Interwar Period: 1919-1939
- The Coming of the Machines: 1918-1945
- The Machines Take Over: Computer Cryptography
- Alice and Bob and Whit and Martin: Public Key Crypto

Announcing "Tuesdays @ Noon" - November 5: Building the Better Survey

We are delighted to announce a new faculty development workshop / discussion series: "Tuesdays @ Noon." As with its relative "Fridays @ Four," this series will bring faculty together to share expertise in support of our collective and individual goals. The focus of "Tuesdays @ Noon" will be firmly on faculty development, with topics ranging across pedagogy and research, be they topics of immediate concern, such as technology and the classroom, or enduring ones, such as the arc of faculty careers.
Each Tuesdays @ Noon event will: (1) be brief (45 minutes), (2) include lunch, (3) offer pathways to further development on the day's topic.
Please forward any suggestions for topics to facultydevelopment@knox.edu at any time.

Mark your calendars: The first Tuesdays @ Noon will be November 5: "Building the Better Survey"
Presenters: Andy Hertel (Psychology) and Charles Clark (OIRA). Location: Ferris Lounge.
Surveys play a key role in our academic and strategic planning, our understanding of our students and our prospective students, and our assessment activities, and infect just about every other aspect of our lives, as well. What makes a good survey? When is a survey necessary (and when is it not)? Where can I learn more about survey methodologies? What are the technology resources available to me? If you are planning to use surveys in your courses, want to know more about how surveys work, or just want to hear what all the ruckus is about, join us for a presentation on surveys and survey resources at Knox.

Reminder: Social Justice Dialogues Workshop on Dec. 3-4 - Apply by October 18

Consultants from the University of Michigan's Program on Intergroup Relations will be on campus for a two-day workshop, December 3 and 4, to help us actively engage with the pedagogy of Intergroup Dialogue.

Read more about the workshop and the application process here.

Reminder: Professional Development Funds in Religious Studies - Apply by October 29

Financial support is available for faculty projects in Religious Studies through a fund made possible by a gift from Knox Trustee Mary Kent Knight. Examples of fundable activities include designing or re-designing a course with a substantial religion component, research into topics related to Religious Studies, or other professional development to support religious studies education on campus. Fall Term deadline for proposals is Tuesday, October 29. Another call for proposals will be issued early in Winter Term 2014.

Details on supported activities and the application process are here..

Next Friday @ 4: Sarah Scullin - November 1 - Round Room

The next "Fridays @ 4," the faculty colloquium series, will feature Sarah Scullin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics, speaking on the topic "Where Does It Hurt? Pain Problems in Ancient Greek and Modern Western Medicine" on Friday, November 1 in the Round Room, CFA. Refreshments at 4 PM and talk at 4:15 PM.

A full announcement and description of the presentation are here. Please join us to experience and celebrate the work of our colleagues.

Next Midwest Faculty Seminar, January 23-25 - We will buy the book!

Each year, the Midwest Faculty Seminar devotes one meeting, this time in January, to a single, seminal book in the history of human civilization. This year's book is Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. This seminar will assess the meaning and implications of this work from a variety of perspectives and with attention to different disciplines. If you think you would be interested in participating, we will provide you with a copy of the book. Please contact facultydevelopment@knox.edu no later than the end of Fall Term if you are interested in this or any of the remaining seminars this academic year.

Read about this year's seminars and Knox policies here.