Sexy Maths…

Danica McKellar at a book signing
Image via Wikipedia

Paul A. Rubin – “apostate mathematician and Professor of Management Science at Michigan State University” – commented on the blog post below about P=NP and so naturally enough I had a look at his blog and the most recent item is something of a corker … “Math and Science Can Be Sexy“.

In it Professor Rubin lists three prominent actresses who are/were also scientists with serious achievements to their name and says that he already knew about one of them … Danica McKellar.

But even as I read it I realised that while I didn’t know about her, I did (vaguely) know about Hedy Lamarr – I think I may have read about her in Andrew Tannenbaum’s Computer Networks – which I read large chunks of earlier this academic year. As I recall her proposal on frequency-hopping was not taken seriously by the US Navy at the time (during the war), which proved to be a pretty big mistake. It’s now widely used in all sorts of wireless communications.

Anyway, I challenged Professor Rubin’s challenge to me about the potential brokenness of public key encryption if P = NP before I realised he was likely someone with the intellectual firepower to destroy me an instant – so I hope he will take this link back to his blog as a peace offering.

Plus, writing this is more interesting (what isn’t?) than constructing Unified Process use cases for my object orientated design and programming class…


One comment

  1. Peace offering accepted. đŸ˜‰

    One other comment about encryption: if P = NP, then there exists a polynomial time algorithm to break the key. That doesn’t mean anybody knows one, though.

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