Identification numbers

Paper instructions:

Writing Assignment: To write two reports on commonly encountered identification numbers, as discussed in (1) and (2) below. A third report can be completed for a œbonus (see 3 below). For each part answered, provide a list of sources used (including URLs of Internet sites) in a œreasonable format that would allow a reader to locate those sources. The final package that you hand in should consist of your responses for (1) and (2) and, optionally, (3) in order and stapled together.

(1) The first identification number to be discussed is The Universal Product Code (UPC or UPC-12). We shall not concern ourselves with the associated bar code, just the UPC code itself. You are encouraged to use other sourcesmaterial from the Internet is acceptable (list URLs and dates consulted in the sources given at the end of each report). The format should be reasonably informal, like a magazine article. Be sure to cover the following points, doing so in narrative (not Q&A) form:

(a) Describe the information used to œform a UPC for a particular item (such as one purchased at a supermarket) and how it is in encoded.

(b) Discuss the calculation and use of the check digit.

(c) Choose three different items exactly two of which have the same manufacturer, explain the information that can be obtained from the UPC and œcheck the check digits (i.e., demonstrate that the number is a valid code).

(d) For each of the these three UPCs, (a) change one digit and (b) transpose two consecutive digits and show that the check digit scheme catches the errors.

(e) Discuss the European Article Number (EAN) and its relation to UPC-12, specifically how a UPC-12 is converted to EAN format

(2) The second required topic is Vehicle Identification Number. You are encouraged to look on the Internet to find more on the encoding scheme and its components. The Wikipedia article is quite extensiveavoid the temptation to just copy it. Make your attributions clear. There are many other interesting sites. Explain how the check digit is computed. Take a single VIN for a car that you have access to and explain the information that can be extracted from the VIN. Be sure to answer the following questions: (1) What character would is most likely to appear in position 2 in the VIN for an automobile manufactured by Ford in the US? (2) What values can appear in position 6 and what is their œmeaning, i.e., what body styles can be encoded and what symbols are used to do so? Ford Motor Company has an interesting array of VIN Guides for their cars on-line. There are many sites that offer free information based on your VIN. But be aware that not all the information provided comes directly from the VINalso use only the FREE sections of these sites

(3, BONUS) The bonus topic is the Soundex Coding System. We will use it to encode surnames only. You need not discuss its history. You are to show the results of applying the successive steps of the coding scheme (algorithm) to your surname, which is Castro. Then you are to give a different name that results in the same four characters. As you did for your surname, give the step-by-step results. Do these two names sound alike? You may use any of the soundex converters that you find on the internet to check your results and to obtain the œother name.

Academic Level: Undergraduate

Grading Scale: A+ “ F