The field of cryptography is a multi-faceted discipline as interesting as human endeavors ever get, reaching into the areas of computer science, espionage, war, politics, national security, and conspiracy. The book Betrayal at Pearl Harbor will serve to prove the point, especially for those who love conspiracy theories. As theorized in the book, one author, who is a World War II cryptographer himself, was purposely kept silent by the British about encrypted Japanese radio messages they were intercepting regarding Pearl Harbor with the hope that it would drag the U.S. into the war, which of course it did.
Courses in cryptography are no less interesting, and can include any of the following topics:
Students interested in learning about cryptography should not miss Gary Kessler's superb review article An Overview of Cryptography.
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