I will be looking for relevant links that appear in the news (current events)
and will post them here. If you hear an interesting story, pass it on and I will
probably post it.
(January 8, 2010) A 232 digit
number was factored into the product of two primes.
This number was part of a challenge offered by RSA (the company) and there was a cash prize but
the prize expired in 2007. The security of RSA (the code) is based on the factoring problem
and we will learn more about this towards the last third of the course.
(January 2010) Scientists are developing algorithms for a quantum computer. This
article from the Jan 2010 edition of Scientific American talks about a computer algebra
algorithm that will run on a quantum computer.
The web comic xkcd.com has a cult following of
people who get a laugh from nerdy cultural references. It
often has comics related to cryptography and mathematics from this course.