Dan Brown's The DA VINCI CODE

Many of you may have read Dan Brown's 'international bestseller', The DA VINCI CODE . It's an unputdownable potboiler, which is currently being made into a film (I grew up with film , not movie ). Unfortunately it contains some erroneous Mathematics, on which I comment in a later section. Some teachers might wish to exploit the book's mathematical content as a basis for classroom work.

One of the main characters in Brown's book is (French Agent) Sophie Neveu. Some quotes:

1. Sophie Neveu ... who had studied cryptography in England at Royal Holloway...

2. 'Your English [S.N.'s] is superb.' 'Thank you, I studied at Royal Holloway.' ...

3. 'There's an easier way,' Sophie said, ' ... reflectional substitution ciphers ... A little trick I learned at Royal

Holloway.' .. . eyed her [S.N.'s] handiwork and chuckled. 'Right you are. Glad to see those boys at the Holloway

are doing their job.'

That Sophie Neveu could have studied cryptography at Royal Holloway College in not a fiction, and indeed Fred Piper - former head of the Mathematics Department there - is the about-to-retire Director of Royal Holloway College's Information Security Group. One of our own recent (2001) St. Patrick's College BEd graduates studied at Royal Holloway for her Masters in Information Security (2002), and is still there, in the second year of her studies for a PhD.

Contact details 

After August 31st 2007 please use the following Gmail address: jbcosgrave at gmail.com

This page was last updated 18 February 2005 15:10:01 -0000