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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

The Mathematics and Politics of Secure Digital Communication

Instructor(s): Gove Effinger (Math & Computer Science)

What actually happens when a message you send or receive by computer or phone is “encrypted”? Is it possible for a third party to “decrypt” this message? When is it ethical or legal for third party to try that? How does the current political climate affect how we and our leaders decide where the line between ethical/legal and unethical/ illegal gets drawn with respect to digital privacy? The course examines questions like these while focusing on the simple but very beautiful mathematics behind creating secure digital communications.


Course Offered