Thanks for the quote, DevilEyes
I think the Bad Robot bods must have read Nichelle's book, or gotten it straight from her - there's so much from that quote in STXI (although they took the Spock thing a few steps further, he was her teacher and she his top student)
And something else I've thought of: Didn't Uhura break a Romulan code in "Ballence of Terror"? Or did she give it to Spock to decode? I can't remeber OTOH.