Meeting Monday and Wednesday 4
^{th} period (1:10-2:30) in ARC-203 on Busch Campus |

**Introduction**

We'll study the mathematics underlying communication. We will discuss some of the public policy problems which have accompanied increased capabilities modern mathematics and computers have allowed. The course was given on an experimental basis to a small group of students during the fall 1999 semester and will be given again in spring 2000. The course is intended for students majoring in the social sciences and the humanities.**Outline of topics**

The mathematical topics to be covered include secret sharing, public key encryption, the work involved in various computational algorithms, current systems used for encryption and decryption, and information hiding. The public policy issues to be discussed include the privacy of medical records, cryptographic policy of the U.S. and foreign governments, and copyright in the digital era. Many of the topics to be studied are relevant to commerce on the web, are changing almost daily, and are somewhat controversial.**Workload**

Students will be expected to write several short papers, keep up with daily homework assignments, and take two exams with both mathematical and policy content. Much of the work in class and out will be done by students working in small groups.**Math background**

Some students now learning this material have stated that "only high school algebra" is necessary (manipulation of polynomials, graphing of straight lines and appreciation of arithmetic). While this may be literally true, a great deal of the mathematics involved will seem decidedly non-standard since it has been developed to respond to communication and computation in the twentieth century. Students will also need the ability to read graphs of data sets and create such graphs.**Electronic resources**

Students in the course must have an account on Eden or a similar Rutgers system. They will need to use computer resources for text preparation, for e-mail, and for computation. Each student should also have a calculator. Students do not need to know how to write computer programs.**Attendance**

Students should plan to attend every class. Attendance will be a major component of the course grade and this requirement will be interpreted strictly. The majority of classes will have activities in class preparing students for homework. Much of the material covered in the course is not available in texts at an appropriate level. The text suggested (*Cryptology*by Beutelspacher, published by the Mathematical Association of America) has only some of the material.**How to enroll**

Send e-mail to ortizc@math.rutgers.edu with the following information:- Your name
- Your expected graduation date
- A brief statement verifying that you have read the Math 103:99 course description and want to take the course.

**Math 103:99**as the subject of your e-mail message. If there is room in the course and if you satisfy the prerequisites (see below), you will receive return e-mail with a special permission number for this course, valid only for you.

Students taking Math 103 should have either passed Math 026 or Math 027 or placed into Math 103 or higher. Students who have not fulfilled one of these prerequisites will be deregistered. |

A more extended description of some possible topics in this course is available. This course is one of several courses recently introduced at Rutgers, partially funded by the National Science Foundation. We hope to inform and excite students about mathematics and science. We want to demonstrate clearly the relevance and importance of what we teach.