Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Courses of Instruction

Academics

Connections 20038. Top Secret

What are secrets and why do we need to keep them hidden? Once we have secrets, how do we keep other people, companies, organizations and countries from uncovering them?

Your computer log-in password and your credit card number are two secrets you want to keep hidden from strangers. Microsoft’s source code is a secret, and the formula that produces Coca-Cola is coded, locked in a vault, and kept under tight security. Al Qaeda has secrets that the U.S. government wants to know. The U.S. government has military secrets, diplomatic secrets and policy secrets it doesn’t want anyone, even allies, to know.

This two-course connection enables students to relate the “hows” of encoding secret information in the math course to the “whats” and the “whys” of doing so in the domains of government and business in the political science and economics courses. Students will learn what information policy makers and planners believe is necessary to keep secret and how to construct unbreakable codes to keep these secrets secured.

Connections:
MATH 202 Cryptography
and
POLS 229 United States Foreign Policy
or POLS 379 International Security Policy