Stimulating
Understanding of
Computational science through
Collaboration,
Exploration,
Experiment, and
Discovery for students with
Hearing
Impairments


a collaboration of the Shodor Education Foundation, Inc., Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, Barton College, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and
Interpreters, Inc.


For Teachers!
RSA Cryptology
Overview:
In this lesson the students use computer interfaces to learn how our secret information is transferred. They pick prime numbers and the computer generates the necessary encryption and decryption keys. Then, using their keys, they are able to send and receive secret messages using a second computer program. The lesson explains the math behind the process so the students will gain an appreciation of this important math application.
The students will use factors, prime factorization, and relatively prime numbers to solve problems in a real world application.
Students should understand GCD and primes before attempting this module. A basic knowledge of modular math would be helpful as
well, though it is not necessary. Modules are available on primes
(Sieve
of Eratosthenes) and modular math at the
SUCCEEDHI site. It is also important that the students have read "Introduction
to Cryptology" before they begin.
Worksheets: The "Record Page" and the "Student Practice" page should be printed out for the students to use.
Computers with Internet access or CD with this lesson.
Vocabulary:
These
have links to English and ASL definition through out the lesson.
Algorithm  a multistep, repeatable process
Break  figure out what a cipher says without having the keys
Cipher  a message that is written using an algorithm that makes it secret
Cryptanalysis  the study of how to break ciphers
Cryptography  the study of how to write ciphers
Cryptology  the study of writing messages in secret (cryptanalysis and cryptography)
Decrypt  the process of changing a cipher into a message
Digital Signature  a way of checking what computer did something
Encrypt  the process of changing a message into a cipher
Key  a number used to encrypt or decrypt a message
Message  text to be sent to a person
Public  available to everyone
Copyright © 19992001 by The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.
by the National Science FoundationOpinions expressed are those of the authorsand not necessarily those of the National Science Foundation. 