I will be presenting my MAT-381 talk about “how to read a QR code without using a smartphone” by decoding its message step by step.

The use of QR codes is increasing every day as smartphones become more popular. QR codes can be used to store Wi-Fi set up information, web addresses, phone numbers, and other contact information. You no longer have to write down or hope to remember these things. Simply hold your phone’s built-in camera to the QR code.

I am a Mathematics and Digital Media Arts student, I am not a computer science major, but this talk will include material based on computer science. As a math student, I wondered how they encoded QR codes. QR code encoding and decoding are based on computer science, logic, matrices, and mathematics.

My talk will cover how to decode the message data, fixed patterns, and variable data, but I will not cover error correction. If you are interested in error correction, I would recommend the Reed-Solomon error correction technique.

Reed-Solomon error correction: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Reed%E2%80%93Solomon_codes_for_coders.

To encode the data: https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/#text

The presentation on QR Code Decoding was very interesting! The one picture of the QR Code with the letters and symbols of what each section meant was helpful get get the mental picture of how the QR Code works and what is really being looked at when we scan them with our phones. Very good presentation all the way around!

This was a fantastic and practical presentation! In fact, later that evening I was scanning a QR code and looked at the pattern to try and decipher it! It was really helpful when you broke down the sections of the QR code, and it really made it easy to understand. It was interesting to learn how much information our phones compute in a fraction of a second. What was truly intriguing was when you discussed how much of the QR code could be covered and still be read by phones, depending upon quality. This was something that I had not thought about before. Imagine if a poster hanging in a hallway had accidentally been torn, it is amazing that the code may still be readable! Well done!