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Cryptology: From Caesar Ciphers to Public-Key Cryptosystems

by Dennis Luciano, Gordon Prichett

Award: George Pólya

Year of Award: 1988

Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 18, (1987), pp. 2-17

Summary: A discussion of improved cryptographic systems and the problems they pose for the cryptanalyst, with emphasis on the underlying mathematics.

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About the Authors: (from The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 18, (1987))

Dennis Luciano is currently Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he has been since 1977, Prior to this, he had appointments at Saint Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA) and LeMoyne College (Syracuse, NY). He received an M.A. and Ph.D. (in commutative algebra under the direction of David Lissner) from Syracuse University. Professor Luciano is a referee for the College Mathematics Journal, a member of the Executive Committee of the Northeastern Section of the MAA, and an evaluator for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. His current mathematical interests include number theory, graph theory, and applications of mathematics at the undergraduate level. His nonmathematical interests include running and basketball.

Gordon Prichett is Professor of Mathematics at Babson College. He received his B.A. from Williams College in 1963 and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1970. After teaching mathematics and mathematics education at San Diego State University, he moved to Hamilton College where he served as chairman. He has since taught at Wellesley College and Babson. He has published a variety of papers on number theory and computer applications. Dr. Prichett has spent one year as a visiting professor in the Biology Department at the University of York, England, studying population biology. He has an active interest in curriculum development and alternative approaches to instruction, and is coauthor of A Supplement to Calculus: One and Several Variables, which adapts introductory calculus to the self-paced mode of instruction.


Subject classification(s): Cryptography
Publication Date: 
Sunday, July 20, 2008