Number Theory began as a playground for a few mathematicians that were fascinated by the curious properties of numbers. Today, it has numerous applications from pencil and paper algorithms, to the solving of puzzles, to the design of computer software, to cryptanalysis (a science of code breaking).
Number Theory uses the familiar operations of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), but more as the starting point of intriguing investigations than as topics of primary interest. Number Theory is more involved in finding relations, patterns, and the structure of numbers.
This Number Theory course will cover topics such as the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, Euclid's Algorithm, Pascal's Triangle, Fermat's Last Theorem, and Pythagorean Triples. We will finish the course with a linkage of Number Theory to Cryptography. In today's world of high speed communication, banks, corporations, law enforcement agencies and so on need to transmit confidential information over public phone lines or airwaves to a large number of other similar institutions. Prime numbers and composite numbers play a crucial role in many cryptographic schemes.
Come taste the flavor of the purest of pure mathematics. This course is open to any student having basic algebra or higher mathematics who is challenged by puzzles and mathematics problems. It will run for a full semester.
*This course may be appropriate for Gifted and Talented middle school students that meet all course prerequisites.*
**Please Note: This course may not be appropriate for students with specific accessibility limitations as written. Please refer to the VHS Handbook policy on Special Education/Equity for more information on possible modifications. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at service.goVHS.org.