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Re^2: How to introduce 8 year olds to (Perl) programming?

by DrHyde (Prior)
on Apr 26, 2005 at 09:26 UTC ( #451467=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: How to introduce 8 year olds to (Perl) programming?
in thread How to introduce 8 year olds to (Perl) programming?

This is an excellent idea. By using very simple encryption as your example - eg the Caesar cipher or the Vigenere cipher - you should be able to teach them something useful in twenty minutes. Start by teaching the Caesar cipher, then show how quickly and easily it can be broken using brute force or trivial frequency analysis, then introduce the Vigenere cipher and show that it doesn't fall to either attack. At least, it doesn't when you're working with a pen on a whiteboard.

And most importantly - don't teach encryption, or ciphers, or algorithms, or programming. Teach them how to pass secret messages to their friends that their teachers won't be able to read.

Details about the Vigenere cipher are here.

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[Discipulus]: sometimes the client dies for extra content </chatter><span class="error" style="color: #cc0000">Server Error (Error ID 9162
[Discipulus]: the span is considered extra content by the parser
[Corion]: Mhmm - that would be some internal error, but I can't look into that right now as I don't have access to the logs from here ;)
[Discipulus]: ah, but it can be skipped by the client (?)
[Corion]: I think so, but I wonder what error might be there...
[Discipulus]: raining in germany? ;=)

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