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Workshop immerses students in mathematical world

  • Secondary News

Twelve further maths students from Years 12 and 13 participated in a Scienteens Lab workshop at the University of Luxembourg in Belval on Friday, 2nd February.

Run by the university's mathematics department, the workshop, entitled ‘Keep a secret? Thanks to Number Theory’ allowed students to learn how number theory is applied to secure communications. Through practical exercises such as decryption of a coded message with a cipher wheel, the students discovered how an encryption algorithm works and learned about the underlying theory.

The day gave the students a taste of university-style mathematical learning. With a lively, experienced educator, displaying the eccentricities expected of a high-ranking mathematician, giving first-class lessons in the rigours of mathematics, the students found themselves immersed in the beautiful mathematical world.

The students tackled mathematical concepts such as Euclidean division, the extended Euclidean algorithm, Fermat’s little theorem and the RSA-algorithm, with a little bit of mathematical history thrown in, which is always a bonus.