Poughkeepsie Chapter of the Association For Computing Machinery

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Secure Data Transmission: The Mathematics Behind Identification Numbers and Check Digit Schemes


Dr. Joseph Kirtland


Monday, April 18, 2016       7:30 PM


Marist College, Hancock Center (Building 16 on map), Room 2023. Park just north of Hancock Center, or in parking lot on south-east corner of Route 9 and Fulton Street. We thank Marist College for hosting the chapter's meetings.

More Information

This program is free and open to the public. Attendees should RSVP at Meetup.com.

All are welcome to join us beforehand for dinner at the Palace Diner at 6:00 PM.
Refreshments are served after the meeting.

For further information, go to Pok.ACM.org (QR code below),
email Bill Collier, or phone 845-522-1971.

QR code RSVP to ACM Poughkeepsie at   Meetup.com

About the Topic

Identification numbers, such as credit card numbers, ISBNs, UPCs, and vehicle identification numbers, are used to identify individual items, specific products, people, accounts, and documents. Each time an identification number is transmitted, there is a chance that an error in the number will occur. To combat this problem, many identification number systems include a check digit and a mathematical calculation to determine if the number received was the number sent. This talk will present the mathematics behind and the reliability of a variety of schemes used today, including one developed by IBM, and end with a scheme that will find and automatically correct errors.

About the Speaker

Joseph Kirtland is a professor of mathematics at Marist College, where he has taught since 1992. He received his B.S. from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. His professional interests are in finite group theory (an area from abstract algebra), mathematics education, and the applications of group theory to cryptography and check digit schemes.

Joseph Kirtland has written numerous articles on a variety of research topics in finite group theory. Additionally, he studies the application of group theory to the creation and use of check digit schemes. Based on his efforts, he wrote a book, Identification Numbers and Check Digit Schemes, published by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). In 2002, this book won the Beckenback Book Prize, which recognizes the author of a distinguished, innovative book published by the MAA.

Joseph Kirtland enjoys running, hiking, basketball, poetry, and playing fantasy baseball.

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