CIS Tour to Purdue University

On February 28, the Computer Information Sciences Department took a tour of Purdue University's  campus, headed by Dr. Joe Hoffert.  Highlights included a tour of the Lawson Computer Science Building and a walkthrough of Purdue's very own Conte supercomputer (the #122nd highest ranked supercomputer in the world in November of 2016).  Students were exposed to the life and environment of a Graduate student in a CS degree and sat in on lectures provided by various Purdue doctoral students and faculty members.  Students were also given the opportunity to experience the culture of the University, eating at one of the on-campus dining halls and off-campus at a local Mediterranean restaurant.  It was an opportunity for both CIS and CS students alike to learn about the possibilities for their future studies and to get to know one another across all of the different class levels.

A Tour of Public Key Cryptography (and of Number Theory)

Like other branches of mathematics, number theory has seen many surprising developments in recent years. One of the most surprising is the fact that number theory, long considered the most "useless" of any field of mathematics, has become vital to the development of modern codes and ciphers. We will take a tour of some of these ciphers, focusing on the "public key" ciphers --- ciphers which answer the question "Can two persons who have never had a secret in common, by a public discussion agree upon a common secret?" (Beutelspacher) For perhaps the first time in history, the answer is yes in practical terms. The ideas are very easy to understand, and yet underlie large portions of both modern number theory and modern cryptography.