In Spring 2015, Professor Jason Howell will offer a special topics course called “**Introduction to Cryptography**” (**MATH 480/580**). Here is his description of the course:

Cryptography is the study of techniques for secure communication of information in the presence of third parties who are regarded as adversaries. Most methods for encrypting information are highly mathematical in nature, and the security of many cryptosystems depends on the computational difficulty of problems in number theory and finite fields. In this course we provide a basic introduction to cryptography and discuss classical cryptosystems that have been employed over the last 2000 years. We then develop the mathematical background necessary to describe several modern cryptosystems in use today, including the public-key Diffie-Hellman system and the RSA algorithm, and discuss the security and vulnerability of these methods to attacks.

In order to enroll in the course, students must have completed

- MATH 207 (Discrete Structures)
*or*MATH 295 (Introduction to Abstract Mathematics); and - MATH 203 or an equivalent Linear Algebra course

Students seeking to enroll without these prerequisites are asked to contact Prof. Howell. The course will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-8:15PM.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Try to crack this:

More information is available on the course flyer.