MATH 316
Protecting Information: Applications of Abstract Algebra and Quantum Physics Spring 2017 Division III; Quantative/Formal Reasoning; Cross-listed as MATH316 / PHYS316
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Living in the information age, we find ourselves depending more and more on codes that protect messages against either noise or eavesdropping. This course examines some of the most important codes currently being used to protect information, including linear codes, which in addition to being mathematically elegant are the most practical codes for error correction, and the RSA public key cryptographic scheme, popular nowadays for internet applications. We also study the standard AES system as well as an increasingly popular cryptographic strategy based on elliptic curves. Looking ahead by a decade or more, we show how a quantum computer could crack the RSA scheme in short order, and how quantum cryptographic devices will achieve security through the inherent unpredictability of quantum events.
The Class: Type: lecture
Limit: 50
Expected: 35
Class#: 3233
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on homework sets and exams
Prerequisites: PHYS/MATH 210 or MATH 250 (possibly concurrent) or permission of instructors;
Enrollment Preference: discretion of the instructors
Department Notes: students not satisfying the course prerequisites but who have completed MATH 200 or MATH 209 are particularly encouraged to ask to be admitted
Distributions: Division III; Quantative/Formal Reasoning;

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