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Math Projects

Explore the World of Chaos
Dr. Maureen Rush

This workshop is for high school students who want to explore the mathematical phenomenon known as chaos. Chaos is what results when very small changes in the initial conditions of a quantity, such as population density or chemical reactant, lead to very large discrepancies in that quantity over time. This phenomenon can account for our inability to predict weather, the spread of disease, among many other things. You will learn the basics of mathematical iteration, both linear and nonlinear, with only an algebra background. Much of our work will utilize graphing calculators and software spreadsheets. If we cannot make predictions, we can predict chaos!

Explorations in Number Theory and Cryptography
Dr. Charles Lam

This program explores the evolution of cryptology from simple substitution ciphers to public-key cryptography. Students will be introduced to basic number theory, and its use in modern-day encryption methods. In addition, different uses of cryptography in cases such as authentication and digital signatures will be explored. Participants will investigate on weaknesses in encryption schemes using basic cryptanalysis techniques.