Maths

11th June 2004 at 01:00
Codes and code-breaking are excellent ways to engage pupils in mathematical thinking. Using frequency analysis to break a substitution cipher demonstrates the power of simple statistical analysis. As activities, pupils can develop encryption methods, and encode messages and try to crack each other's ciphers. Pupils can investigate more sophisticated encoding techniques, leading to public-key encryption, which involves using prime numbers and modular arithmetic.

Maths libraries should have The Code Book by Simon Singh and In Code by Sarah Flannery. The first is a history of codes and code-breaking, and explains the maths involved. In Code is about the author, who developed an encryption method. It includes lots of mathematical puzzles.

Why not organise a visit to Bletchley Park, where the Enigma code was cracked (www.bletchleypark.org.uk)?

Simon Singh's website (www.simonsingh.netThe_Black_Chamberhome.html) has activities and simulations on codes and code-breaking.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now