Los Angeles Math Circle

4/24 -- Group B: Keeping secrets secret - or not: cryptography (Prof. Christian Haesemeyer)

Cryptography is the art and science of writing messages in code, and reading coded messages without the key (the latter is often called "cryptanalysis"). Mathematics enters into cryptography and cryptanalysis in at least two ways: it helps in designing encryption methods that are safe, usable, and fast - or helps to attack such methods. On the other hand, mathematics helps understanding structural properties of language which can be used to glean some information about even the most safely encrypted messages.