Maths Puzzles: Cryptarithms, Symbologies and Secret Codes Course - Davidson Institute of Science Education


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Explore and solve encrypted maths puzzles, in which numbers are replaced by letters or symbols, with this free online course.

Explore fascinating maths puzzles

Discover maths puzzles, explore their history and practise problem-solving techniques.

You’ll explore + Cryptarithms - puzzles where the digits have been replaced by letters. + Symbologies - puzzles where numbers are represented by symbols. + Mathematical operator puzzles - puzzles where the numbers are given, but the mathematical operator is missing (for example, what does the asterisk stand for in *1320=6?)

Through the course, you will develop problem-solving skills, gain knowledge about the history, art and methodology of encrypted puzzles, and exercise your brain with fun challenges.

What topics will you cover?

  • Encoding maths puzzles, secret codes and symbologies.
  • Solving and creating cryptarithms - puzzles where numbers in mathematical expressions are encoded.
  • Genres of cryptarithm including, ancient Hindu problems and alphametics.
  • Special and unique cryptarithms, including prime numbers, logarithms, square roots and powers.
  • Symbologies from ancient times to modern bar codes.
  • The language of computers including, binary, ternary and gray codes.
  • Decrypting ancient Egyptian number systems, Roman and Greek numerals.
  • Barcode puzzles and how to solve them.
  • Different types of operator puzzles including unary, binary and ternary.
  • Modern operators including, logic operators, text operators and operators in Excel.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.

  • Available now
  • 16 November 2020

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Solve different kinds of cryptarithms and decipher symbologies.
  • Synthesise the knowledge gained from all the different steps into a coherent view of the art of information concealment.
  • Demonstrate puzzle-solving skills.
  • Improve problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Collaborate with other learners to solve problems.
  • Apply problem-solving strategies in new situations.

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for anyone who enjoys popular science, recreational maths and solving maths puzzles and crosswords. It will be especially useful for parents or teachers looking to inspire a love of math and do fun math activities with young people.

Who will you learn with?

Yossi Elran

I'm a recreational mathematician and metagrobologist and head our institute's technology in the education unit. I have a PhD in theoretical quantum chemistry, and think math and science are really cool!

Michal Elran

I am a math educator, certified editor and techno-pedagogue. I have an MSc. in computer science. My job is to create online recreational math activities for kids. I love working with them!

Judith Golan

I am a mom of three, working at the Davidson Institute of Science education as a Recreational Mathematics projects coordinator.

I have an M.Sc in Biology and love the combination of art, math & science.

Who developed the course?

Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute of Science

The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institutions in the natural and exact sciences. The Davidson Institute of Science Education is the educational arm of the Weizmann Institute.

Join this course



$259.99 for one year

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses.

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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