Mathematics 199
Fall, 2007
Wednesday, 11AM-12:30PM
939 Evans Hall

Professor Kenneth A. Ribet
Telephone: (510) 642-0648
Fax: (510) 642-8204
Office hours (885 Evans Hall)
photo of an Enigma Machine rotor box

This seminar concerns cryptography, a very interesting subject that we will study this coming semester. I led a similar seminar five semesters ago. Some students in my number theory course last fall suggested that we have another go, and now here we are.

I consulted with some cryptographer friends and asked for textbook recommendations. I settled on the third edition of Cryptography, theory and practice by Douglas R. Stinson. You can buy the book for $65.04, with free shipping, from Amazon; it should also be available in the campus bookstore.

A key aspect of this seminar is that the lectures will be given by students. One of the goals of the class is for students to learn now to present mathematics to a group. The class will meet 15 times, as shown on the table below. The aim is to have an enrollment of 15 students, with each student lecturing once. If you are on the waitlist, you might want to check this course's enrollment status.

Date Speaker Title Reading Exercises
August 29 Sarah Brodsky Classical cryptography Chapter 1 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14, 1.23
September 5 Anna Fuller Some concepts due to Claude Shannon §§ 2.1-2.5 and also § 2.7 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.10, 2.11, 2.12 (to do the last three, you'll need to read §2.4)
September 12 Ethan Rahn Block ciphers, AES, DES § 2.7, Chapter 3 3.1, 3.2, 3.5 (but only do rounds 0-8)
September 19 Jimmy Yang Hash functions Chapter 4, §§ 1-3 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.9a
September 26 Michael Leong RSA Chapter 5 5.9, 5.10, 5.15, 5.24, 5.25, 5.27, 5.29 (all due on October 10)
October 3 Alex Kaiser
October 10 Yvonne Kemper ElGamal, discrete logarithms Chapter 6, §§ 1-5 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.7
October 17 Evelyn Crofts Elliptic curves, theory and practice § 6.5 6.13, 6.14, 6.15, 6.16a
October 24 Michael Hubbard More on discrete logs, ElGamal; input from elliptic curves Relevant parts of Chapter 6 6.17, 6.18, 6.19
October 31 Jason Klein Signature schemes Chapter 7 7.1, 7.12, 7.14
November 7, November 14 Helen Tseng Pseudo-random number generation Chapter 8 Due November 21 at the very latest:
8.1, 8.3, 8.6a, 8.7
November 21, the day before Thanksgiving H. Tseng, J. Yang Something fun involving zero-knowledge proofs No assigned reading No assigned problems
November 28 Sage Briscoe Elliptic curve factoring algorithm Sage's handout Problems in Sage's handout
December 5 John Brooks-Jung Key distribution Chapter 10

Reading related to this course


You might know that I have organized dining hall lunches in connection with my large lecture courses; see the facebook albums Food for Thought and, e.g., Math 54, Book I for some photos. To start the semester off, I proposed an informal and totally optional no-host lunch at the Faculty Club after class on September 5. (While technically for "members and guests," the Club is pretty much open to the public for lunch these days. After your meals at the Club, you can contribute to the Yelp reviews.) Eight students came to the September 5 lunch, and I got some positive feedback. We can have Math 199 lunches after class every week if there is sufficient interest.

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