CSC 281 Introduction to Cryptography

An unresolved code. Two sides of the phaistos disk


Course: CSC 281/481 Introduction to Cryptography
Instructor: Randal C. Nelson
Office hours: by appointment, Wegmans Hall 3009
TA: Mohammad Hossein Faghihi Sereshgi,
Time: T-Th 14:00 Room: Bausch and Lomb 269


This course is a one-semester introduction to cryptography, covering material from classic ciphers to modern encryption methods, along with some history.



The course contains considerable mathematical content, though an in-depth treatment of the mathematics behind modern cryptology is beyond its scope. If you do not like math courses, you will probably not like this course. As a prerequisite, you should have at least calculus and basic linear algebra. Material from probability and number theory will be introduced. There will be a number of cryptoanalytic exercises, so you should like working on word puzzles. Many of them will require use of a computer, so you should enjoy writing programs, and have taken a data structures course (e.g. CSC172).

Course Text Books

Required and recommended texts are Other useful books


Cryptanalysis projects and problem sets; Class attendance/quizzes, participation, and presentation.

Approximate distribution:
Projects and problems sets, 50%;
Class attendance/quizzes, participation, and participation, 50%.

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