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.
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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 SUCCEED-HI 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 multi-step, 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

Developed by
The Shodor Education Foundation, Inc.