Introduction to Cryptography - MATH/CMSC 456

Fall 2016


Course Overview

This course is an undergraduate introduction to cryptography, whose aim is to present the theoretical foundations of cryptosystems used in the real world. This course complements Computer and Network Security (CMSC 414), whose coverage of cryptography focuses more on its applications; in this class, we will look "under the hood" to get a better understanding of various cryptographic primitives, algorithms, attacks, and protocols. The course will be similar, though not identical, to my previous offering of this course.

The required textbook for this course is Introduction to Modern Cryptography, 2nd edition, by myself and Yehuda Lindell, and the course will follow the book closely. Note: The second edition has a number of topics not included in the first edition, plus additional exercises. The second edition of the book is required. Exams in this class will be "open book" but electronics will not be allowed; therefore, students are advised not to use a Kindle edition or illegal copies of the book that can be found online. Note also that illegal copies of the book available online often do not match the printed edition (especially when it comes to the exercices); the instructor will not be responsible for any deviations in content.

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. Basic background in discrete mathematics (probability, modular arithmetic) and analysis of algorithms (big-O notation, reading pseudocode) is assumed.

Moreover, some of the homeworks will require programming. The choice of language is flexible, however some homeworks will have a networking component with the networking code provided for you in a particular language. It is assumed you can pick up what is needed in order to complete the assignments.

This course will follow all applicable UMD policies and procedures.

Lecture Schedule

After each lecture, I will post a (brief) summary of what we cover, and provide references to relevant sections of the book, here.

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