Maths Puzzles: Cryptarithms, Symbologies and Secret Codes” is a free online course led by three instructors who will take you through the exploration and solving of encrypted maths puzzles, in which numbers are replaced by letters or symbols.

Having the knowledge and mindset to work with encrypted puzzles can be very helpful for your preparation of tests requiring analytical and critical thinking, as well as mastery of quantitative skills. Such tests are the Graduate Management Admission Test and the Graduate Record Examination, which are the gate keepers of business school admissions. This skill-set is also transferable to personal and professional situations that require an analytical approach to discover hidden information.

About the course

On this free online course, you will look at three types of maths puzzles, exploring their history, meeting the puzzlists who created them, and studying and practising problem-solving techniques.

The course is designed for anyone who enjoys popular science, recreational maths and solving maths puzzles and crosswords. There are no particular requirements.

What you will learn

Each week, you will tackle a different type of encrypted maths puzzle, including:

  • Cryptarithms: maths puzzles where the digits have been replaced by letters. You’ll need to practise your verbal arithmetic and use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to solve them.
  • Symbologies: maths puzzles where numbers are represented by symbols. We’ll explore everything from ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek numerals, to the language of computers, and to ISBN and bar codes.
  • Mathematical operator puzzles: maths puzzles where the numbers are given, but the mathematical operator is missing. For example, what operation does the asterisk stand for in *1320=6?

By the end of the course, you’ll have upgraded your problem-solving skills, gained knowledge and insight into the history, art and methodology of deciphering encrypted puzzles, and exercised your brain with fun challenges.

Starting date: 29 August 2016

Duration:  3 weeks, 4 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Yossi Elran, Sabine Segre, Michal Elran

Institutions: Weizmann Institute of Science, Davidson Institute

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