In this session, Beth Hegland, Principal Decision Scientist at Guild Education and marvelous GSTEM volunteer, talked about her background in Mathematics, including her education and career experience. She highlighted that Math is a very versatile degree, and that there are opportunities to apply this across countless fields/industries.
The girls learned about Cryptography, and used an Affine Cipher to encrypt a message, which they swapped with someone else to decrypt. To do this, letters were translated into numbers, and a function applied to these to return an "encrypted" value.
Beth gave an example of the Affine Cipher which was used by Julius Caesar, and encouraged the girls to get creative to come up with their own cipher. They even learned about modular arithmetic, and used this to make sure the values their functions returned were always between 0 and 25!