Art by Pat Simpson
This image has a
secret message: Congratulations -
You Solved the Puzzle! But how are the images decoded? The answers are deciphered using a type of
math and computer analysis known as stenography, the practice of concealing and
decoding “messages” in nonsecret text, data, or images.
someone who loves solving these kinds of riddles and want to make it a career,
IUP has the perfect master’s program for you. In the Applied Mathematics MS at
IUP, you’ll gain a solid background in applied mathematics, statistics,
real-life problem solving, and operations research using state-of-the-art
software that will prepare you for a career in steganography or to continue
forward for a PhD.
offers internship credits with faculty who will help you find the internship
that best suits your interests, giving you real-world experience that could
lead to full-time employment.
Interested in learning more about the Applied Mathematics MS? Check out our program website for specific
program and course related details.
First, you’ll need both the original image and the image
with hidden messages and then a software package, such as Matlab, that can
disclose the detail information of a jpeg file.
Every color is a combination of different levels of red,
green, and blue. Each pixel in a digital color image has three values
corresponding to these three levels.
To decode the first message, take the red level of every
pixel from the image with the hidden message and then subtract the red level of
every pixel from the original image. Assuming that the hidden message is in the
first column of the image, after subtraction, you’ll get the following 0 &
Next, each 7-bit sequence is associated with a letter or a symbol, through
ASCII table. Look into the ASCII code table to find out which character
each binary number represents, and you will be able to get the corresponding
We bet you have
some questions now. Like, how do you know which color was used to hide the
messages? What if ASCII code wasn’t used? What if the message is scattered
through all three colors? Enroll in our
Applied Mathematics MS and find out!