Monday, 24 May 2010

Greenwich Maths Challenge 3

The winner of the third Greenwich Maths Challenge was Nic Mortimer, who was the first (and only) person to break the Vigenere cipher. The text was Hardy's famous reminiscence of Ramanujan,

I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number **** and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

Here the missing number is of course 1729. The keyword to the cipher was "Hardy".
Greenwich Maths Challenge 4 will be posted here on or around Friday May 28, to mark the end of the exams at Greenwich!

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