Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sleepless Weekend

  1. I was up until nearly 2am last night / this morning working on a lesson plan on RSA encryption for one of my honors classes. I'm not that happy with what I've written because it's hard to come up with examples where the numbers work out acceptably. If your primes are too small, your encryption exponent turns out to be the same as your decryption exponent, and that confuses the students because the number for encrypting should be different from the number for decrypting. But if your primes are much larger, your exponents become large enough that you can't carry out all the calculations for encrypting and decrypting easily in class. There has got to be an ideal example that I should work out and save forever.

  2. The reason I was up until nearly 2am lesson-planning was not that I wanted to be but rather because I couldn't sleep and wanted to do something useful with the time instead of just fuss about on the internet. The reason that I can't sleep is because there is a spot on my right ankle where a nerve has been intermittently mis-firing since Thursday afternoon, and it has this weird, icky, creepy-crawly feeling. If you've ever had the type of physical therapy that involve some electro-stimulation machine that gives a creepy-crawly feeling, it's much like that, only sort of random. Very distracting, making it hard to sleep.

  3. I have not yet consulted the Oracle at Mountain View about what might be causing this misfiring nerve, as I'm sure that many of the top hits will be degenerative neurological disorders, and I'm a bit of a hypochondriac. The reason that I suspect that it's nothing serious is that this has happened before many years ago, and if it was neurodegenerative, it would have degenerated somewhat by now.

  4. In my middle of the night lesson planning / random internetting, I did learn that Ron Rivest is from my hometown. He graduated from the same high school that I did!

  5. Now I must convince my sleep-deprived self that she wants to write another chapter of my book. I think I'll write about geometry.