I love these things.
SCIgen is a program that generates random Computer Science research papers, including graphs, figures, and citations. It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers. Our aim here is to maximize amusement, rather than coherence.
One useful purpose for such a program is to auto-generate submissions to conferences that you suspect might have very low submission standards. A prime example, which you may recognize from spam in your inbox, is SCI/IIIS and its dozens of co-located conferences (check out the very broad conference description on the WMSCI 2005 website). There’s also a list of known bogus conferences. Using SCIgen to generate submissions for conferences like this gives us pleasure to no end. In fact, one of our papers was accepted to SCI 2005! See Examples for more details.
The source code for SCIgen is on Github and is released under the GPL v2.
SCIpher is a program that can hide text messages within seemingly innocuous scientific conference advertisements. It is based on the context-free grammar used in SCIgen, but instead of randomly piecing together sentences, it uses your input message to control the text it generates. Then, given SCIpher output, it can recover the original message by reverse-engineering the choices made at encoding-time.
One useful purpose for such a program is to communicate secret messages that don’t look like secret messages. Encrypted emails, for example, might signal to snoopers that you are an interesting person who bears investigation. However, in our experience when you send out a Call for Papers (CFP) announcement, it’s very unlikely that anyone will read it.
The source code for SCIpher is available on Github and is released under the MIT license.