Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
David Joyner, Math Department

Projects in Cryptography, Codes, and Information Security

SM473, Projects in Cryptography, Codes, and Information Security: A capstone course on cryptography

Recommended text: M. Stamp and R. Low, Applied Cryptanalysis, Wiley, 2007.

Working Groups: The class is divided into two-member working groups. Each group will work on the homework together. Also, there will be class group activities such as groups solving each other's ciphers.

Quizzes: There are several quizzes (most are open notes, but are taken individually not in groups).

There will be hour exams and a final project. The final project is an individual project. Spring 2014-2015 projects had the following suggestions for the content of the final paper: describe a specific cipher with details on

  • the encryption process,

  • the key space,
  • a decryption process,
  • a method of breaking the cipher and some indication of how complex that would be (even if it was simply a brute force attack).

Examples from spring 2014-2015:

Examples from spring 2012-2013:

Examples from spring 2013-2014:

  • Midn Baez: The Solitaire Cipher capstone
  • Midn Price: The Beale Cipher capstone

Software: Using Sage (as in the textbook) can make the homework a lot easier and our cryptology calculations less trivial and more interesting. (online version, no install required) and

Topics the course should cover:

  1. Classical ciphers (Vigenere Cipher, Hill Cipher ...)
  2. Number Theory basics and Public Key cryptosystems (RSA, Rabin, ...)
  3. Modern Symmetric Ciphers
  4. Discrete Logarithm Problem and related ciphers (ElGamal, Diffie-Hellman ...)
  5. Stream Ciphers
  6. Error Correcting Codes and Steganography
  7. Digital Signatures
go to Top