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All Girls/All Math

All Girls/All Math 2014

All Girls/All Math 2014

This week, I’m teaching one of the parallel “Codes and Cryptography” classes at the All Girls/All Math camp at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It’s so much fun to be in a room full of budding mathematicians from all over the country, and it reminds me of what it felt like to love the idea of math before getting too deep into any particular specialization.

I’ve made a few resources for the class, which I’ll drop in this post as the week continues.

Obviously, the rock climbing links come first…:
Bouldering vs. Top-Roping (vs. Lead-Climbing)
Rock climbing and teaching math

And here are some relevant math links:

The Bletchley Circle on PBS:
http://www.pbs.org/program/bletchley-circle/

A quick review of the symmetric cryptography systems we talked about on Day 1:
http://animoto.com/play/x7rvb7VPhZZWbFKdzH3J0g

Here’s an article about a new kind of space race — the race to bounce perfectly secret codes off low-orbit satellites using quantum cryptography:
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/528671/the-space-based-quantum-cryptography-race/

For encrypting and decrypting messages, you can play with the web apps at http://www.cryptoclub.org.

And after the jump, there’s an except lifted from a blog post by Cathy O’Neil at mathbabe.org:

(more…)


The following NPR story starts with an anecdote about Kepler. Apparently, he was trying to find himself a wife, and he had 11 candidates, but he was too thorough in interviewing them (read: slow!), and they all got impatient and rejected him. Damn.

Turns out, if you have limited options, the best strategy for a good match (though maybe not the best match) is to interview 1/e (~36.8%) of your candidates without offering the “job” to any of them. Then, if you’re interested in anyone after that point, pop the question and forget the rest of the list.

Read more at NPR:
NPR: How to marry the right girl