Cryptonomicon Themes

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cryptonomicon.
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Fascination with Numbers

A fascination with numbers is an underlying theme throughout the book. Those working in cryptoanalysis must be good at math in order to develop and break codes. Throughout the book, the various characters are playing numbers games. As a child, the young Lawrence Waterhouse became fascinated with math when he helped the math teacher fix the church organ. At Princeton, Lawrence, Alan and Rudy spent hours discussing math and how to use it to build Alan's Turing Machine, which was a computer. They looked at how organs and bicycles worked in mathematical ways and then used this information to break codes and build early code machines and computers.

Throughout the book, Stephenson shows how math relates to cryptology and computers as Randy Waterhouse, the grandson of Lawrence, uses math in his computer hacking and to break the Arethusa code to find the location of the buried...

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This section contains 645 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cryptonomicon Study Guide
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Cryptonomicon from BookRags. (c)2014 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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