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INFORMATICS IN EDUCATION
Journal of Eastern and Central Europe

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INFORMATICS IN EDUCATION

ISSN 1648-5831

© Vilnius University Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies

2018, Vol. 17, No. 1
pp. 93-103

DOI: 10.15388/infedu.2018.06

Computational Thinking Enrichment:
Public-Key Cryptography

Frances ROSAMOND

The University of Bergen, Institute of Informatics
Thormohens Gate 55, Bergen 5020, Norway

Abstract

The Computer Science Unplugged activities and project has been an influential STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) initiative, providing enrichment and teaching activities supporting computational thinking. Many of its activities are suitable for children. One of the most popular Unplugged activities is "Kid Krypto", invented by Mike Fellows and Neal Koblitz. Kid Krypto demonstrates the mathematics underlying public-key cryptography without using advanced mathematics. The paper gives an example of a Kid Krypto-style encryption system that is based on disjoint cycles in a graph or network and which is accessible to a very young audience. Also described is the original Kid Krypto system which is based on a version of dominating set called perfect code. The paper urges research scientists to participate in mathematical sciences communication and outreach.

Keywords:

Kid Krypto, Computer Science Unplugged, cryptography, computational thinking, STEM.




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Vilnius University Institute of Data Science and Digital Technologies, 2018