Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 1 - "Uncertainty Principal" - Checksum

Published on 11/17/2006

Activity Overview

In "Uncertainty Principle", the FBI discovers that concealed in a series of bank robberies is the plan for an even larger heist. Charlie helps discover the nature of the scheme when he sees a list of numbers and recognizes them as bank routing numbers. It is the routing number that allows the check to be tracked back to the bank in which the money has been deposited. A computer uses an algorithm to verify that it has correctly read the routing number. The key to this algorithm is the checksum.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore Web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.