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Maths Puzzles: Cryptarithms, Symbologies and Secret Codes

Weizmann Institute of Science via FutureLearn


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You’ll explore: + Cryptarithms - puzzles where the digits have been replaced by letters.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.

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.


  • Let's start cracking cryptarithms!
    • Who are we and what do we want?
    • First taste of cryptarithms - Hindu Cryptarithms
    • Alphametics
    • Special and Unique Cryptarithms
    • Week wrapup
  • Symbologies
    • From ancient times to modern bar codes
    • Ancient Egyptian number systems
    • Roman and Greek numerals
    • The language of computers
    • Bar codes, ISBN and checksum digits
    • Week wrapup
  • Operator puzzles and Secret Codes
    • Operators
    • Modern operators: logic operators, text operators, operators in Excel
    • History and notation
    • Operator challenges and secret codes
    • Course summary

Taught by

Yossi Elran


4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 49 ratings

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