Introduction to Cryptography - CMSC 456

Fall, 2007

Course Outline

This course serves as an introduction to cryptography suitable for undergraduate or graduate students. The focus is on definitions, theoretical foundations, and rigorous proofs of security. This course is cross-listed with the mathematics department, so it will have a significant mathematical component. This course complements Computer and Network Security (CMSC 414) which focuses more on "high-level" issues and actual systems; in this class, we will look "under the hood" and attempt to understand various cryptographic protocols and algorithms. This course and CMSC 414 may be taken in either order, and are designed to be largely independent of each other.

The textbook for the course is Introduction to Modern Cryptography, by myself and Yehuda Lindell. The book is available from the publisher or on-line retailers, and a copy has been placed on reserve in the CS library.

No advanced mathematics background is assumed, but students are expected to possess "mathematical maturity" since many of the concepts will be abstract, rigorous proofs will be given, and we will cover some advanced mathematics in class. Discrete mathematics (probability theory, modular arithmetic) and complexity theory will be helpful, but all necessary prerequisites will be reviewed in class.

A tentative syllabus and the lecture schedule are available.

General Information


Instructor: Jonathan Katz (jkatz AT cs). Office: 3225 A.V. Williams Building. Office hours: Tuesday 2:00-3:30. (If you plan to come to office hours in any given week, please email me a day in advance. Otherwise, if no one shows up, I will leave early.)

Teaching Assistant: Ranjit Kumaresan (ranjit AT cs). Office hours: MW 11-12, in the TA room (AV Williams 1112)