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Mathematics of cryptography

  • 7.5 credits

Since the 1970s we often consider cryptography systems based on mathematical problems that are difficult to solve. In this course we look at a number of assymetric cryptosystems, the mathematical problems underlying them, and different algorithms to solve these problems.

The course covers basic concepts in encryption and the mathematical problems, with associated mathematical theory, which is the basis for applications in asymmetric cryptology such as RSA (both as crypto and as digital signature), DH, El Gamal, ECDH, ECDSA, and Miller-Rabin.

Different algorithms (to solve these mathematical problems) are studied with a focus on complexity.

Algorithms covered include binary exposure, Shank's baby-step giant-step, Pohlig-Hellman, Pollard's p-1, QS, index calculation, Pollard's rho and Lenstra's ECM.

  • Course structure

    The course consists of two elements, theory and computer exercises.

    Teaching format

    Instruction is given in the form of lectures, exercises sessions and computer exercises.


    The course is assessed through written examination and written presentation of the computer exercises.


    A list of examiners can be found on

    First and Second Cycle Courses

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Course literature Department of Mathematics

  • More information

    Times for online registration and other important info:

    Student information

    Course web

    We do not use Athena, you can find our course webpages on

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