– List of topics

#1 – CRYPTOGRAPHY

  • Julius Caesar and the so-called Caesar cipher
  • World War II: The Enigma machine
  • The cipher of Ernesto Ché Guevara and Fidel Castro
  • RSA and public-key cryptography
  • Quantum cryptography

#2 – THE TABLET PLIMPTON 322

  • What is Plimpton 322?
  • When was it made?
  • When was it discovered?
  • Who is Eleanor Robson?
  • What is a Pythagorean triplet?

#3 – FERMAT’S LAST THEOREM

  • xn + yn = zn
  • 1637: Fermat and the margin of the book
  • 1995: Andrew Wiles and the proof
  • The Fields medal and Wiles

#4 – ZERO

  • Probably the most important discovery in the mathematical history
  • Indian mathematicians

#5 – NUMERICAL SYSTEMS

  • Positional systems (place-value notation) vs non-positional systems
  • Babylonian numerical system
  • Hindu-Arabic numerical system
  • Other civilizations: Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Mayas…
  • Computers and binary digital systems: bits

#6 – PYTHAGORAS’ THEOREM

  • a2b2c2
  • Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans
  • Hippasus of Metapontum and the discover of irrational numbers
  • The theorem in other cultures: Babylonians, Indians, Chinese
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