Introduction to Cryptography - CMSC 456

Fall 2013

Course Outline

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.

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.


General Information