[Edu-sig] Linuxfest and iPython

Jeff Sandys sandysj at juno.com
Fri Apr 23 16:48:39 EDT 2004

Thanks, Kirby, for giving your presentation at Linuxfest.

One thing Kirby mentioned in his post that I found real 
interesting is how to slowly build a class in IDLE.
I would use a notepad, cut and paste each modified class.
What Kirby did is store the class with each instance:

class Q:
    def __init__(self):
        self.Q = Q.__class__

then is later versions he would use self.Q instead of Q 
to create the new objects:

class Qv1(Q):
    def method(self):
        return self.Q()

Of course I am leaving a lot of stuff out here, see his 
slides for the example.

The other thing that Kirby mentioned is that high school 
students should be able to understand the RSA algorithm.
Until last year I would have thought that was extreme, 
but then I read, _In Code: A young woman's Mathematical 
Journey_ by Sarah Flannery.  This is a wonderful book 
for anyone interested in math.  The book is divided into 
three parts; the first part is her childhood experiences 
of the math puzzles that her father would put up on the 
caulk board in their kitchen, then she discusses modulus 
math, the RSA algorithm and another encryption algorithm 
she helped develop as a summer intern, the third part is 
her journey as the winner of the Ireland young scientist 
contest and the following contests and presentations 
around the world.

The book has a clear and understandable explanation of 
the RSA algorithm along with the Mathematica code she 
used.  The book should be an inspiration to all, 
especially to young women with an inclination to math, 
who would rather be playing "football" and ride horses, 
as the author, high schooler Sarah Flannery, would.

Jeff Sandys

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