Winter Study 2013:


Professor Steven J Miller (


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The ability to encode information so that only certain recipients can read it (or, conversely, to read information you are not supposed to have!) contains some of the most exciting applications of pure and applied mathematics. Since at least the time of Julius Ceasar (the title to this course is encoded with the cipher he made famous), codes and ciphers have been used to protect important information. We'll discuss various cryptosystems used over the years. The course will be a mix of history and theory.


Prerequisites: Math 102 or its equivalent


Meeting time: main classes are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to noon in Chem 202; we have Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1pm to 4pm in Chem 123 as needed.


Meetings / Syllabus: After the first week it is all tentative.

Evaluation: Writing up solutions to cryptography problems.


Note: Please feel free to swing by my office or mention before, in or after class any questions or concerns you have about the course. If you have any suggestions for improvements, ranging from method of presentation to choice of examples, just let me know. If you would prefer to make these suggestions anonymously, you can send email from (the password is the first seven Fibonacci numbers, 11235813). 


Readings: to be distributed in class and by email. Click here for additional comments.


LaTeX links: my LaTeX handout and links to sites to download LaTeX.

Decrypting links:

This webpage is under construction -- more information will be added, but here are some fun cryptography puzzles and reading.

Some readings