Introduction to Cryptography - CMSC 456
This course is an undergraduate introduction to cryptography.
The aim is to understand the theoretical foundations of
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" to get a better understanding of various cryptographic primitives, algorithms, attacks, and protocols.
The textbook for the course is Introduction to Modern Cryptography, by myself and Yehuda Lindell. The course will follow the book closely. I will also hand out preliminary versions of certain chapters from the second edition of that book.
This course has a significant mathematical component.
No advanced mathematics background is assumed, but students are expected to have "mathematical maturity" since many of the concepts will be abstract, rigorous definitions and proofs will be given, and some advanced mathematics (group theory, number theory) will be covered.
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 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 provide references to relevant sections of the book, here.
- Homework 5 is out.
- Due to the large number of students, we will hold the exam in two rooms.
Students with last names beginning with A-L should take the exam in the regular room (1122 CSIC). Students with last names beginning with M-Z should take the exam in 2117 CSIC.
- I have registered the course on Piazza. Please ask questions about the lectures/homeworks there, and check frequently for announcements.
- 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 (30%), a midterm exam (35%), and a final exam (35%). Note than exams constitute a majority of the 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 for announcements
and to follow the updated syllabus.
- 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: Xiong Fan (xfan AT cs). Office hours: Monday/Wednesday 3-4 in the TA room.