CS 7000 - Cryptography Seminar - Spring 2008

Course Information Sheet

Jan 14, 2008

You are responsible for everything on this handout. Please read it.

What's This Course About??

We are going to learn about Modern Cryptography. We may spend a little bit of time on classical crypto, but not much. Our goal is to get to the research front as quickly as possible while still covering the main pieces of background you will need in order to absorb the material.

We will start with some basic probability theory. Then we will cover block ciphers and other cryptographic objects in some detail. Then we will look at modes of operation on these primitives and their security models and proofs of correctness. We may spend a large amount of time on Message Authentication Codes and how to construct them in an efficient manner. We may also look at attacks on various cryptosystems and try and learn what makes a system secure or insecure.

We will NOT be focussing on higher level protocols like Kerberos, SSL, SSH, Electronic Voting, Electronic Cash, or other such things in any kind of detail. Nor will we be discussing the specifics of network protocols and other non-cryptographic security issues.


TR 11:00am-12:15pm (Room MUEN E114, Call Number 12739)



There will be occasional homework assignments, which will account for 100% of your grade. There will be no quizzes or 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, linear algebra, and other items, but I will try and assume a minimum of this kind of material.


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.

Course Web page

We will maintain useful information on the course web page: http://www.cs.colorado.edu/~jrblack/class/csci7000/s08

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

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