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The Peruvian Coin Flip - Cryptographic Protocols

This activity shows how to accomplish a simple, but nevertheless seemingly impossible task -making a fair random choice by flipping a coin, between two people who don’t necessarily trust each other, and are connected only by a telephone. The resource begins with a detailed explanation of the activity and...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Conversations with Computers - The Turing Test

This activity aims to stimulate discussion on the question of whether computers can exhibit ’intelligence’, or are ever likely to do so in the future. Based on a pioneering computer scientist’s view of how one might recognize artificial intelligence if it ever appeared, it conveys something of what is currently...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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The Chocolate Factory - Human Interface Design

The aim of this activity is to raise awareness of human interface design issues. In a world where poor design is rife, people have become accustomed to dealing with problems caused by the artifacts with which they interact, sometimes blaming themselves instead of attributing the problems to flawed design. The issue...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Kid Krypto - public key encryption

Encryption is the key to information security. The key to modern encryption is that using only public information, a sender can lock up their message in such a way that it can only be unlocked by the intended recipient. The resource begins with a detailed explanation of the activity and how the process of...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Sharing Secrets - Information Hiding Protocols

Cryptographic techniques enable information to be shared with other people, yet still maintain a surprisingly high level of privacy. This activity illustrates a situation where information is shared, and yet none of it is revealed: a group of students will calculate their average age without anyone having to reveal...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Ice Roads - Steiner Trees

Sometimes a small, seemingly insignificant, variation in the specification of a problem makes a huge difference in how difficult it is to solve. This activity, like the The Muddy City problem, is about finding short paths through networks....

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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The Poor Cartographer - Graph Colouring

Many optimization problems involve situations where certain events cannot occur at the same time, or where certain members of a set of objects cannot be adjacent. For example, anyone who has tried to time-table classes or meetings will have encountered the problem of satisfying the constraints on all the people...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Marching Orders - Programming Languages

Computers are usually programmed using a “language,” which is a limited vocabulary of instructions that can be obeyed. This activity gives students some experience with this aspect of programming. The resource begins with a demonstration of the marching order activity followed by the activity itself, together with...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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Treasure Hunt - Finite State Automata

The students’ goal in this resource is to find Treasure Island. Friendly pirate ships sail along a fixed set of routes between the islands in this part of the world, offering rides to travellers. Each island has two departing ships, A and B, which students can choose to travel on in order to find the best route to...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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The Orange Game - Routing and Deadlock in Networks

When there are a lot of people using one resource, such as cars using roads, or messages getting through the Internet, there is the possibility of “deadlock”. A way of working cooperatively is needed to avoid this happening. The resource begins with instructions on how to play the orange game. The activity contains...

Publication date:
2000 - 2009

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