CS 7000 - Cryptanalysis Seminar - Spring 2005
Course Information Sheet
Jan 11, 2005
You are responsible for everything on this handout. Please read it.
What's This Course About??
This course is about cryptanalysis: the study of breaking cryptographic
codes and protocols. This is an extremely rich and deep area, and we
can only hope to scratch the surface. We will touch upon blockcipher
cryptanalysis, analysis of modes, algebraic attacks, and attacks on
The course will be very mathematical in nature and is intended
for PhD-level thinkers. This means that you should definitely not be
taking this class without a fair bit of mathematical experience, and
that you should expect to spend a fair amount of time outside of class
learning tools you will need. In some cases, this could be a lot.
The course will mostly be lecture format, but highly-interactive.
Each student will have a project that she/he will present toward the
end of the term. This project will entail presenting a paper (minimally)
or presenting new research ideas (ideally).
If you love solving puzzles, seeing clever ideas, learning new math,
then this is the course for you.
TR 11:00am-12:15pm (Room ECCR 155, Call Number 24616)
There will be occasional homework assignments (70%), and a project (30%).
There will be no exams.
This is a hard course to outline the prerequisites for. The best background
you could have is the ability to think carefully and precisely in a
mathematical context. Have some "mathematical maturity" would be greatly
helpful. Knowing how to write a proof and how to understand a proof is
Beyond this, having some knowledge about probability theory is useful, as
is information theory, modern algebra, complexity theory, algorithms,
number theory, and linear algebra. You should have at least some
familarity with most of these areas.
No Textbook. We will use several on-line resources as we progress through
the class. You may choose to print these out if you work better that way.
There are some on-line texts we will refer to, but mostly the resources
we will use are papers. These will usually be available in electronic
form; in some cases I may hand out paper.
Course Web page
We will maintain useful information on the course
Visit the above page regularly to see what's new.
If you miss a handout, get it from here.
Make John Happy
There are several ways to make me happy:
- Come to my office only during office hours or with an appointment.
(I have a one-track mind and don't handle interruptions well; if
people are constantly dropping by without an appointment, I'll never
get anything done.)
- Don't try to ply me for more points.
(If there is an obvious grading error,
I'm happy to correct it immediately, but if you constantly argue
for more partial credit in some gray area, I will exhibit very
- Come to class on time. (I don't mind people coming in
late once in a while, but please don't make a habit of it: it's