Northwest Student Code-Breaking Competition Launches Soon

Apr 7, 2014

Code language is probably as old as language itself. Now, two Northwest university professors have launched a competition to test students’ code-breaking skills. The brain game starts April 10. 

Stuart Boersma is a professor at Central Washington University. He’s organizing a code-breaking completion for Northwest college and high school students. The contest is called Kryptos and last year there were 100 participants.
Credit Courtesy of Stuart Boersma

It’s called Kryptos and is geared to undergraduate students all around the Northwest, but the region’s high school students are encouraged to try and break the codes too. Stuart Boersma is a mathematics professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He says most of the codes can be solved with paper and pencil, or with the help of computers.

“You don’t have to be great at math to do well in this competition. Anyone who likes puzzles, word games, Scrabble or crossword puzzles might end up doing pretty well,” says Boersma. 

Boersma is organizing the competition with Professor Cheryl Beaver at Western Oregon University. Boersma says many of the challenges are based on historical ciphers that pre-date World War II. Prizes include code-breaking books, movies and the pure glory of being a Northwest code-breaking champion.

For more information e-mail Stuart Boersma

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