Introduction to Cryptography - CMSC 456
Course Outline This course serves as an undergraduate introduction to cryptography.
The aim is to understand the theoretical foundations for cryptosystems used in the real world.
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 primitives, algorithms, and protocols.
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.
This course is cross-listed with the mathematics department, so it will have a significant mathematical component.
No advanced mathematics background is assumed, but students are expected to possess "mathematical maturity" since many of the concepts will be abstract, rigorous definitions and proofs will be given, and we will cover some advanced mathematics (group theory, number theory) in class.
Some background in discrete mathematics (probability theory, modular arithmetic) and algorithms will be helpful, but all necessary prerequisites will be reviewed in class.
A tentative syllabus is available.
The course this semester will be very similar to my previous offering of this course.
After each lecture, I will post a (brief) summary of what we cover (and refer to relevant sections of the book) here.
- The class meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 - 10:50 in 1122 CSIC.
- Grading will be based on 5-8 homeworks assigned throughout the course (25%), a midterm exam (35%), and a final exam (40%). Note that homeworks make up a significant portion of the final grade!
- You may collaborate on the homeworks with at most one other student in the class. Each student must independently write up their own solutions, and must list the other student (if any) with whom they collaborated.
- You may consult outside references when doing the homework, as long as these sources are properly referenced, you write up the solution yourself, and you understand the answer.
- Check the course homepage frequently since all handouts will be distributed via the web and an updated syllabus will be maintained on this page.
- Instructor: Jonathan Katz (jkatz AT cs). Office: 3225 A.V. Williams Building. Office hours: by appointment.
(If you want to meet, send me an email.)
- Teaching Assistant: Aishwarya Thiruvengadam (aish AT cs). Office hours: Tuesday/Thursday 4:30-5:30 in the TA room (AVW 1112).