Crucial to the course will be a discussion of public key encryption, and the associated problems of primality testing and factoring. Students will explore various methods (based upon background) from the elementary to the exotic, and will present lectures as a part of the course.
The computer has completely changed the face of cryptography and cryptanalysis, so no course would be complete without computer implementation of some algorithms as a part of the course. Implementations can be in your language of choice (True Basic, C, Maple, etc.). For newbies, I will happily run an xhour or two to give you the basics --- you will not need more; these are simple programs.
As this is a senior seminar---in the College's words, a ``culminating experience'', I think it is also very important that you learn to communicate mathematics effectively. This means that I will expect you to give one or two short lectures on course material, and to keep a diary (handed in once a week), in which you give a short synopsis (as non technical as possible) on what we have discussed during the preceding week.
Finally, you will each be responsible for a large project in which you
study some aspect of cryptology in depth, and make a written and oral presentation.
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