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# IA Math IA - Cryptography

Hi,

We're really far behind on our syllabus in math, which means we need to do the exploration pretty much entirely by ourselves, and I'm lost so I thought I'd ask for help here first

My topic is cryptography and my plan is to use matrices. I know this isn't in the SL syllabus anymore but my teacher said it was at the right level for the IA. Regardless, is it okay to only use matrices or should I bring in something else? (If so, suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I'm planning on using simple arithmetic to explain the history of cryptography in my introduction, but that would be very brief and simple)

Also, I'm a bit lost as to what to do in the exploration itself. I know I can't make it all theory, but would be it enough to encrypt and decrypt several messages using matrices? I was thinking about starting with a really simple matrix and then increasing the difficulty, but I don't know if that's enough. Is it okay to just do some sort of "demonstration" of cryptography using matrices like this, or does it need to be more specific/something completely different?

Thanks!

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My topic is cryptography and my plan is to use matrices. I know this isn't in the SL syllabus anymore but my teacher said it was at the right level for the IA. Regardless, is it okay to only use matrices or should I bring in something else? (If so, suggestions would be greatly appreciated - I'm planning on using simple arithmetic to explain the history of cryptography in my introduction, but that would be very brief and simple)

Students are expected to produce work that is commensurate with the level of the course. The mathematics explored should either be part of the syllabus, or at a similar level or beyond. It should not be completely based on mathematics listed in the prior learning. If the level of mathematics is not commensurate with the level of the course, a maximum of two marks can be awarded for this criterion.

This is from the math HL syllabus but I think it should be the same for SL.

According to this you should be fine as matrices was a topic and it is not listed in the prior learning, but I think you should probably still cover something in the SL syllabus just to be safe.

Also, I'm a bit lost as to what to do in the exploration itself. I know I can't make it all theory, but would be it enough to encrypt and decrypt several messages using matrices? I was thinking about starting with a really simple matrix and then increasing the difficulty, but I don't know if that's enough. Is it okay to just do some sort of "demonstration" of cryptography using matrices like this, or does it need to be more specific/something completely different?

I'm also doing cryptography (different topic, although I've considered doing matrices) and in my opinion encrypting and decrypting should be more of a demonstration (instead of the whole IA), since you can do it using a calculator and nothing else.

Probably talk about the use of matrices in the exploration first (how to get inverse matrices, determinants, etc) and then go to actual encryption.

http://xmltwo.ibo.org/publications/DP/Group5/d_5_matsl_tsm_1205_1/html[email protected]=d_5_matsl_tsm_1205_1_e&part=2&chapter=3.html

See this for an example exploration on cryptography, it got 6/6 for SL use of mathematics.

http://xmltwo.ibo.org/publications/DP/Group5/d_5_matsl_tsm_1205_1/html[email protected]=d_5_matsl_tsm_1205_1_e&part=2&chapter=4.html

This is another 6/6 example (even for HL), its topic is also related to cryptography.

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