Alexandra Lau, or Ali, started her graduate studies in Spring 2011; however, she collaborated with Dr. Michelle Manes in Fall 2010 to finish her undergraduate final paper titled: Elliptic Curve Cryptography: Possible Group Structures Cryptographic Implications. She also wrote a small paper, also under Dr. Manes’ advising, regarding figurate numbers in correspondence with her search for a “good” trap-door function. For her graduate studies, she hopes to continue working in number theory and algebra.

Before Ali became an official fellow, she worked with SUPER-M at the CRDG Summer Programs 2010. She worked closely with Tristan Holmes to create cryptology lesson plans for grades 2-5 and 6-9. In November 2010, she co-presented with Austin Anderson at the HCTM Mini-Conference at Mānoa Elementary. Their presentation showed how cryptology can be a useful tool in the classroom.

During her semester as a fellow, Alexandra Lau worked at Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao PCS in Nānākuli, Oʻahu. She worked with Uncle Dan Kitashima, math coordinator, on developing a set of lessons plans for the 6th grade. Kado Nahoʻopiʻi, Mike Takeda, and Micah Ahsui let Ali test out her lesson plans with their classes. The kids had a lot of fun working to solve an encrypted message; it took them a month to decrypt one sentence!

From 2011-2012, Ali served as the Project Manager for SUPER-M. In that time, she was able to continue her graduate studies and also to continue collaborating with teachers, curriculum developers, math coaches, and the fellows! Under her leadership, SUPER-M attended the national NSF Conference for GK-12 education in Washington, D.C., hosted a number of community Science Nights, and collaborated with the Institute for Astronomy, the Stanford Solar Center, and many others.