MATH 233

Introduction to Cryptography

Post January details

  • Lectures will still be recorded and posted to Panopto, but I strongly prefer you attend in person.
  • Office Hours will meet once a week on zoom, and once in person. Please use the office hours link on Blackboard. Office Hours are not recorded.
  • All exams will be held in-person only.


  • Alex Carney
    E-mail: alexanderjcarney at rochester dot edu
    Office: Hylan 1015
    Lectures: MW 12:30-1:45PM Hylan 102 (on Zoom for January)
    Office Hours (for January):
    Tuesday, 4-5pm, on Zoom.
    Wednesday, 3:20-4:20, 1015 Hylan.


  • Ian Clingerman
    E-mail: iclinger at u dot rochester dot edu
    Office Hour: Thursday 3:30-4:30pm, Studio X Collaboration Room D.
  • Ting He
    E-mail: the9 at u dot rochester dot edu
    Office Hours: Thursday 9:45-10:45am, on Zoom.

Course description

A mathematically-oriented inroduction to modern cryptography: weaknesses of historical cryptosystems, modular arithmetic, primality testing and factorization algorithms, private-key/symmetric cryptosystems, public-key/asymmetric cryptosystems and key-sharing (including RSA and Diffie-Hellman). Additional topics may include zero-knowledge protocols, digital signatures, homomorphic encryption and secured computation, elliptic curve cryptography, lattice-based cryptography, and other applications such as digital voting and cryptocurrencies. The course will include a technical paper exploring a modern topic of each student’s choice.


Some mathematical sophistication required. MTH 162 or 171 or 230 recommended.


Introduction to Cryptography with Coding Theory, 3rd Ed. by Wade Trappe and Lawrence C. Washington. Either the print or the digital edition is fine.

Sage Math

Experiment with examples using SageMath here. You can also download Sage to run on your own computer if you’d like.

Academic Integrity Statement

  • All assignments and activities associated with this course must be performed in accordance with the University of Rochester’s Academic Honesty Policy. More information is available at:

  • Math Dept policy on unauthorized online resources:

Any usage whatsoever of online solution sets or paid online resources (e.g. chegg or similar) is considered an academic honesty violation and will be reported to the Board on Academic Honesty. In particular, any assignment found to contain content which originated from such sources is subject to a minimum penalty of zero on the assignment and a full letter grade reduction at the end of the semester (e.g. a B would be reduced to a C). Depending on the circumstances, this may apply even if the unauthorized content was obtained through indirect means (through a friend for instance) and/or the student is seemingly unaware that the content originated from such sources. If you have any questions about whether resources are acceptable, please check with your instructor.

Disability Support

The University of Rochester respects and welcomes students of all backgrounds and abilities. In the event you encounter any barrier(s) to full participation in this course due to the impact of disability, please contact the Office of Disability Resources. The access coordinators in the Office of Disability Resources can meet with you to discuss the barriers you are experiencing and explain the eligibility process for establishing academic accommodations. You can reach the Office of Disability Resources at: (585) 275-3424; Taylor Hall. Or, visit Disability Resources.

Please note that to be granted alternate testing accommodations, you (the student) must fill out forms with Disability Resources at least seven days before each and every exam. These forms are not sent automatically. Instructors are not responsible for requesting alternative testing accommodations at CETL or making accommodations on their own.

College Credit-Hour Policy

This course follows the College credit hour policy for four-credit courses. This course meets 3 academic hours per week. Students may also be expected to deepen their understanding of the course material through close examination/evaluation of the readings assigned in the course.