This blog was started in January 2008, a bit over eight years after I started as a professor at UVA and initiated the research group. It was named after Thomas Jefferson’s cipher wheel, which has long been (and remains) one of my favorite ways to introduce cryptography.
Figuring out how to honor our history, including Jefferson’s founding of the University, and appreciate his ideals and enormous contributions, while confronting the reality of Jefferson as a slave owner and abuser, will be a challenge and responsibility for people above my administrative rank. But, I’ve come to see that it is harmful to have a blogged named after Jefferson so have removed the Jefferson’s Wheel name from this research group blog.
For now, we’re going with a very generic “uvasrg” name…but hopefully will come up with something more interesting eventually. (I’ve reluctantly rejected “Hamilton’s Dual”, alluding, of course, to Margaret Hamilton and William Rown Hamilton, and the Lagranian Dual and Dual Execution, not to any historical rival of Jefferson’s.)