Posted by Matthew on Saturday August 24, 2002 @10:30PM
from the unknown dept.
Looks like Math prodigies are getting younger all the time. This story tells of a 3 year old boy who encrypted his father’s work with a red marker. His father developed the decryption technology, which consists of a key made of red cellophane. They are persuing a patent right now. Can anyone think of any existing art that might cover this? The San Diego Mercurial News has an article on Math and Kids, an excerpt follows:
The record for youngest contributor to cryptographic science was broken earlier this week by Jorgen Hansensensen’s three-year-old son, Hans. The previously youngest cypherpunk prodigy, Sarah Flannery (who at 16 developed a matrix public key encoding algorithm when working with her father) said “What? I can’t hear you. And you talk funny,” when pressed for comment.
Like Sarah, young Hans was also working with his father when he made the essential breakthrough that his father calls Chromographic encryption–a methond of ‘hiding’ information in what is an otherwise unintelligable garbled mess. “I had put the tyke on the floor and sort of forgot about him,” Hansensensen said, “With some of my work papers off to the side. The next thing I knew he’d grabbed a red marker and had encrypted them all. It was amazing. It took me a while to find some red celophane so I could decrypt it. Then it hit me–we could use this characteristic of visual overlay to create a crypto-system. You’d have to translate the data into a spatial coordinate system of course, such as you find in a PDF or a JPEG file, and then ‘overlay’ it with random data… I could go on, but the details are subject to a patent we have in the works and I don’t want to jeopardize that.”
Jorgen has been approached by several firms and organizations including IBM and Siemens with proposals to commercialize the technology. The NSA will not comment on whether they had already developed the technology and have cryptanalytical techniques that can break it.
Young Hans has already enrolled at CalTech in the ‘way early head start’ program. When asked how he felt about all the hoopla surrounding his discovery, he said “Hot cheese? Daddy? Frank!”