Northwest Student Code Breaking Competition Launches Soon

By Anna King

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 this Thursday.
 
Stuart Boersma is a professor at Central Washington University. He’s organizing a code-breaking completion for Northwest college and high school students. Photo 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.

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

Photo: Stuart Boersma is a professor at Central Washington University. He’s organizing a code-breaking completion for Northwest college and high school students. Photo courtesy of Stuart Boersma.
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