Info I231
Introduction to the Mathematics of Cybersecurity
Spring 2013

Esfandiar Haghverdi
Lindley Hall 330C

Office Hours: Tuesday 11-12 and by appointment.


Tuesday, Thursday
9:30-10:45 a.m.
Room: WH 121




Weekly schedule

Description: The goal of this course is for students to be introduced to the basic mathematical tools used in modern cybersecurity. The course covers introductory mathematical material from a number of disparate fields including probability theory, analysis of algorithms, complexity theory, number theory, and group theory.

None specified on the bulletin.


  • Monoalphabetic Substitution Ciphers
    • Mathematical induction
    • Some number theory
    • Modular arithmetic
    • Simple ciphers
  • Polyalphabetic Substitution Ciphers
    • The multiplication principle
    • Permutations and combinations
    • Probability theory
  • Polygraphic Substitution Ciphers
    • Matrix theory
    • Hill's system
  • Public Key Cryptography
    • The RSA algorithm
    • Examples
    • Signature authentication
    • Hybrid systems
    • The Diffie-Hellman key exchange system
    • The Massey-Omura system

Required Textbooks:

  1. Cryptographical Mathematics, Robert E. Lewand, The Mathematical Association of America, 2000. ISBN: 978-0-88385-719-9.

Handouts and Homework: All handouts and homework assignments will be posted on Oncourse.

Associate Instructors:

Mejbaol Sajib
Office hours: Thursday 11:30-12:30 at Info West 001.


  • Homework assignments: 30%
    • There will be weekly homework.
    • Each homework will consist of the following parts:
      1. Regular problems: A set of problems chosen from several sources including the textbook above.
      2. Computer problems: TBD.
    • Each homework will be assigned on a Thursday and will be due the Thursday after, in class.
    • Solutions must be written LEGIBLY.
    • It is encouraged to discuss the problem sets with others, but everyone needs to turn in a unique personal write-up.
  • Midterm I: 20%
    • Midterm I is scheduled on February 19, 2013.
  • Midterm II: 20%
    • Midterm II is scheduled on April 4, 2013.
  • Final exam: 30%.
    • Final exam is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Tues., April 30.
    • We will have a closed book, closed-note exam. However, you are allowed to bring your letter-size cheat sheet to the exam.

Ground rules:

  • I strongly advise you to attend all the classes and take good notes.
  • Late homework will NOT be accepted. However, the lowest homework grade will be dropped.
  • There will be NO make up midterm exams.
  • Calculators are NOT allowed during the midterm and final exams. However, you can bring a letter-size sheet with notes and formulas.
  • The final grade will be calculated according to the evaluation scheme given above and these grades will then be curved to determine your letter grades. However if you get less that 25/100 on the final exam or your total grade is less than 45/100 your final grade will automatically be an F.
  • NO Incomplete grades will be given under any condition.
  • NO extra work, extra credit or any thing outside the regular homeworks will be assigned. Please plan your study strategy during the term accordingly.
  • Grading mistakes:
    If during the semester you feel there has been a mistake made in your grading by the AIs, please contact them first. If after meeting with the AIs you still feel there is a problem with the marking, please contact me.
  • Collaborative work:
    One of the best ways to learn new material is to collaborate in groups. You may discuss the homework problems with your classmates, and in this way make the learning process more enjoyable. However, the homework you hand in must be your own work, in your own words and your own explanation.
  • Here is the link to The Code of Student Conduct.