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 protocols.

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 essential.

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 web page: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~jrblack/class/csci7000/s03

Visit the above page regularly to see what's new. If you miss a handout, get it from here.

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