The University of Arizona / MATHEMATICS


Factoring and Primality Testing

You know that each number can be factored into a product of primes; for example, 2907 = (3)(3)(17)(19). Given a really big number, how do you quickly factor it? You could exhaustively try all possible divisors, but this might take too long. Is there a better method? Why is this important? The security of public-key cryptography rests on the assumption that factoring large numbers is computationally difficult. We'll learn some methods that are better than the exhaustive search. New algorithms are being discovered each year. You could be the one to come up with the next great algorithm!



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