Rules and Challenge Details

WARNING permalink

Do not share answers to problems. Doing so lowers your own chances of winning, as well as the chances of others who have earned their points in an honest manner. Someone who is found to have obtained from or shared answers to someone else will be immediately disqualified!

Rounds, Schedule permalink

The Cryptography Challenge is a collection of challenges related to cryptography. The distribution of said challenges is divided into three rounds, each with a different number of sub-challenges:

  • Round 1 runs from February 1st to February 22nd and offers an Easy-level challenge.
  • Round 2 runs from February 22nd to March 14 and offers both an Easy and Medium-level challenge. Was extended to March 16th.
  • Round 3 runs from March 14 to April 4 and offers an Easy, Medium, and Hard challenge.

Description permalink

Based on the difficulty of the challenges, you may obtain a different number of points. As a contestant you may take any number of challenges, but you may only obtain points from a specific challenge once. Once all three parts of the Cryptography Challenge are finished, contestants are entered into specific "tiers" based on the number of points they collected. Higher tiers offer rewards of higher value, and thus is an incentive for contestants to push themselves and take on harder challenges. The rewards will be randomly awarded to contestants of that tier, this ensures that even contestants who are unfamiliar with ciphers and may not place very high in the leaderboard will still have a chance to win a prize, albeit a lower-value one compared to the higher tiers.

Point System permalink

Challenges are worth the following number of points:

  • Easy: 10 Points
  • Medium: 16 Points
  • Hard: 40 points

The minimum number of points required to enter each tier are:

  • Tier 1: 36 Points
  • Tier 2: 60 Points
  • Tier 3: 82 Points


This challenge was designed and developed by a group of students at the University of Alberta. All contributed to the development of the challenges themselves, the point system, and the story:

Philippe Nadon (nadon.io) permalink

  • Team Coordinator / Leader
  • Designed visuals for challenges, posters
  • Built and maintained website (hosting, deployment, publishing)
  • Led development of story, point system, challenges
  • Worked on Round 1 - Easy, and Round 3 - Medium
  • Responsible for outreach and connections on Augustana Campus
  • Connected with sponsors

Ashwin Mahesh permalink

  • Led development of point system, worked on Round 2 - Easy, and Round 3 - Hard
  • Reached out to sponsors for prizes
  • Distributed promotional material at North Campus
  • Reached out to clubs and other organizations
  • Set up and managed the email system
  • Managed points, submissions

Nishtha Pant permalink

  • Worked on Round 2 - Easy
  • Managed Facebook group
  • Reached out to clubs and other organizations
  • Developed first prototype challenge

Hussain Chitalwala permalink

  • Led development of point system
  • Worked on Round 2 - Medium

Mohana Talasila permalink

  • Helped with outreaching
  • Worked on Round 3 - Easy

Special thanks to: permalink

  • Chris Fetterly
  • Mi-Young Kim
  • Dorsa Nahid
  • Peter Berg
  • Laurence Amadeus Tristan
  • Ryan Jacques
  • Mariam Ayinde
  • Arnold Gihozo
  • Tyler from Boy Scouts