# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"Primed to go: Mathematicians are discussing ways to make code-breakingeasier." *The Economist,* 27 March2003.

"Fear of factors: Cracking prime-number case raises online security doubts," by Lee Dembart. * International HeraldTribune,* 10 March 2003.

These two articles discuss the recent result of a team of mathematicians at theIndian Institute of Technology, who found a new algorithm for testing whether anumber is prime. This algorithm, which caught researchers completely bysurprise, demonstrates that primality testing can be carried out efficiently,or, as computational complexity experts put it, "in polynomial time".

*--- Allyn Jackson*