Mathematics 191
Spring, 2005

Wednesdays, 11:10AM-12:30PM
939 Evans Hall

junk on white board in Ribet's

Professor Kenneth A. Ribet

Telephone: 510 642 0648
Fax: 510 642 8204
Office hours (885 Evans Hall)
This seminar concerns cryptography, a subject about which I know very little. I hope to know more by the end of the semester! We will follow Introduction to Cryptography by Johannes A. Buchmann. Please be sure that you have the second edition of the book. If you are unsure whether you have enough background for this course, you should snag a copy of the book and start reading. Although a strong background in algebra (Math 113, Math 115, Math 250) can only be of help, my impression is that the book is elementary enough that students with some upper-division background will do fine with the book.

I do not have an inspired plan for the course. I propose that we proceed through the book, taking the chapters in order; let's see how far we get! We will do as many exercises as we can, and perhaps start implementing some of the algorithms on computers. The main point is that I'd like as many of the lectures as possible to be given by students. (I will give the first talk, on January 19.) Please volunteer!

When you sign up for this course, you get to choose the number of units for which the course will count: 1, 2, 3, 4. You get to choose whether you are taking the course for a grade. The more units that you select, the more you are agreeing to work hard. If you are down for 3 or 4 units, you should definitely be prepared to give one or more of the talks.

The course was set up initally so that only 10 people could sign up for the course. There is now a waiting list, and the upper enrollment limit has been increased. If you are interested in the course, please continue to come. We will get you enrolled. The math department doesn't turn students away.


  1. Assignment due February 2: 2.23.17, 2.23.19, 2.23.21, 2.23.26; 3.16.1, 3.16.2, 3.16.11, 3.16.16, 3.16.22
  2. Assignment due February 16: 4.8.2, 4.8.5, 4.8.8, 4.8.9, 5.5.1, 5.5.5

Lecturing Schedule

Lecturing in front of a group is very hard. You have to know the material and you have to think about how to present it. You have to be prepared to answer questions from your audience. If you have never lectured to a seminar audience before, learning to speak about mathematics may be one of the most important things that you take away from the course.

1Carol Hua
2Carol Hua
3Ken Ribet, Nina White
4Nina White
5Sean Wilkoff
6Sean Wilkoff
7Josh Baron
8Josh Baron, Julia Gilinets
9Julia Gilinets
10Pat Chau
11Lui Lui
12Lui Lui
13Tim Speer
14Pat Chau
15Carol Hua
16(No lecture)

January 19Ken RibetOverview of chapters 1, 2, 3
January 26Carol HuaChapters 1 and 2
February 2Nina WhiteChapter 4, mostly
February 9Nina White, Sean WilkoffChapters 3, 5
February 16Sean WilkoffChapters 5, 6
February 23Josh BaronChapter 7
March 2Josh Baron, Julia GilinetsChapters 8
March 9Pat ChauChapter 10
March 16Julia GilinetsChapter 9
March 30Lui LuiChapters 11-12
April 6Lui LuiChapter 12
April 13Tim SpeerChapter 13
April 20Pat ChauChapter 14
April 27Carol HuaChapter 15
May 4Sean WilkoffAnalysis of the Texas Instruments DST RFID
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