Sunday, August 02, 2009

Secret Codes

This sounds wildly interesting. Why am I only hearing about it after the fact?

More than 500 teens and their parents packed into one of the largest lecture halls at UC Davis on Wednesday to hear Dr. David Perry, a U.S. Department of Defense cryptologist, decipher the world of encryption and break down the story of the notorious Enigma machine.

Perry's lecture was the centerpiece of Math Fest 2009, an effort by the UC Davis mathematics department to get youths interested in the world of numbers. This year was the third annual Math Fest.

"We're hoping to convey that mathematics is at once beautiful, powerful, fun and useful," said math professor Monica Vazirani. "Getting a degree in math unlocks so many doors and prepares you for a wide variety of careers."

The UC Davis effort to excite younger kids about math and science also encompasses the COSMOS (California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science) program. COSMOS is a four-week residential program for older students that allows them to focus on a topic such as chemistry, robotics, earth science or math.

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