Secret Codes and Online Security

Security breaches in communications -- whether in the form of identity theft or alleged Russian interference in elections --- are very much in the public eye.  Because the challenges are so complex, people from many different fields contribute to the study of security issues.  

This seminar welcomes students with diverse interests.  It will include: mathematics (number theory and graph theory), computer science (running times, attack models),  history (cryptography in World War II,  the development of commercial cryptography in the computer age), and public policy (cybersecurity, cybercrime, privacy, the role of NSA, bitcoin, smart grid).  Several of these topics will be covered through student presentations.   Some of the mathematics will be taught through hands-on projects and recreational cryptography.  We will either take a field trip to Microsoft or else  have a class led by a speaker from Microsoft.

This course is intended to appeal to a broad range of student interests: mathematics (how it's applied in the real world), computer science, politics/policy (privacy, cybercrime, threats from hostile regimes), economics/business (blockchains, protecting intellectual property), history (recent and long ago), etc., and they'll have the opportunity to do their presentation on any such topic of their choice.

Learn more about the instructor of this course:

5 credits of Natural Science coursework in the Areas of Inquiry requirement.