Back to Number Theory and Cryptography

4.6

159 ratings

•

28 reviews

We all learn numbers from the childhood. Some of us like to count, others hate it, but any person uses numbers everyday to buy things, pay for services, estimated time and necessary resources. People have been wondering about numbers’ properties for thousands of years. And for thousands of years it was more or less just a game that was only interesting for pure mathematicians. Famous 20th century mathematician G.H. Hardy once said “The Theory of Numbers has always been regarded as one of the most obviously useless branches of Pure Mathematics”. Just 30 years after his death, an algorithm for encryption of secret messages was developed using achievements of number theory. It was called RSA after the names of its authors, and its implementation is probably the most frequently used computer program in the word nowadays. Without it, nobody would be able to make secure payments over the internet, or even log in securely to e-mail and other personal services. In this short course, we will make the whole journey from the foundation to RSA in 4 weeks. By the end, you will be able to apply the basics of the number theory to encrypt and decrypt messages, and to break the code if one applies RSA carelessly. You will even pass a cryptographic quest!
As prerequisites we assume only basic math (e.g., we expect you to know what is a square or how to add fractions), basic programming in python (functions, loops, recursion), common sense and curiosity. Our intended audience are all people that work or plan to work in IT, starting from motivated high school students.
Do you have technical problems? Write to us: coursera@hse.ru...

Nov 22, 2018

I was really impressed especially with the RSA portion of the course. It was really well explained, and the programming exercise was cleverly designed and implemented. Well done.

Jan 02, 2018

A good course for people who have no basic background in number theory , explicit clear explanation in RSA algorithm. Overall,a good introduction course.

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By ANTHONY R

•Jul 02, 2018

This is worse course I’ve taken as far as getting certified as far as exams, quizzes. Bad external tools that don’t work. Bizarre instructions to complete exams. And graders who have no clue as to what the issues, looking at questions in forums. The Notebook function is sometimes cumbersome. And use of it as educational material was confusing.However if just auditing, this course is great. And material is covered with seriousness, and goes beyond summary treatments in other crypto classes on schemes based on number theoretic concepts.

By Konstantin K

•Dec 19, 2017

Formulas, formulas... lack of examples - lack of understandings. Though topics of the course are very useful and interesting.

Last quest was fascinating. But in my case notebook stopped giving me any results and I managed to get only 1/4 of tasks.

By Doug D

•Dec 26, 2018

It serves as a table of contents of the material which makes it useful to seek out other lecturers on YouTube. I wouldn't recommend someone uses this course by itself.

By Gholamreza S T

•Oct 16, 2018

This course is not deep and rigorous enough to familiarize you with fundamentals of Number Theory. It just covers some theorems! No reference book is suggested, and worst of all accent of teachers makes it really hard to understand the material.

By PRASAD K

•Mar 20, 2019

Concepts are poorly explained. It is very hard to follow the instructors. Need better quality courses.

By Bhargav D

•Dec 27, 2018

It was indeed a great course. I already had the fundamentals of Cryptography and No. Theory but this course helped me brush up my fundamentals and the instructors kept things simple and concise and most importantly to the point at the same time. The puzzles, quizzes, and the quizzes in between the videos were awesome too.Thank You.

By Yordan S

•Jan 01, 2019

I really loved the final quiz. It was very interesting.

By Aditya D

•Oct 07, 2018

I really liked the structure of the topics

By Pete W

•Nov 22, 2018

I was really impressed especially with the RSA portion of the course. It was really well explained, and the programming exercise was cleverly designed and implemented. Well done.

By HaotianWang

•Jul 19, 2018

challenging

By Ashish D S

•Jul 23, 2018

Excellent course, this course is more about numerical theory behind cryptography.

It has excellent assignments using Python.

By Steven W

•Dec 12, 2017

This is a really is a special course. It doesn't have any puzzles like the first few but, you get to go on a RSA quest, ala cicada 3301, and practice your new cryptography skills. At the end of your quest you gain ultimate knowledge.

By SOURAV M

•May 12, 2018

Very nice course for beginners

By Dmytro F

•Jan 30, 2018

Very good introductory course to number theory and RSA.

By liang t

•Jan 02, 2018

A good course for people who have no basic background in number theory , explicit clear explanation in RSA algorithm. Overall,a good introduction course.

By zhangjinqiang

•Dec 10, 2017

in a short 4 weeks, it explains the theory of RSA well and also the RSA itself.

By Pedro M H V

•Jun 18, 2018

Really nice introduction to discrete math and basic algorithms. The content is quite basic, but as mentioned in the syllabus is for beginners. Still, for those of you who are at that level is worth taking this specialization.

By Greg M

•Apr 21, 2019

good material, good presentation, very good problem sets. thank you!

By Ruben G C

•Jun 04, 2019

Very funny and interesting course. Ideal to play with Python.

By Alex Y

•Jan 17, 2019

Sometimes material is very dense. Watching in 1x speed multiple times advisable for some modules later in the course.

By Gautham A N

•Dec 09, 2018

Amazing course, learnt a lot. The assignments were a bit difficult [ and time consuming ] but they helped me gain a better understanding of the concepts.

By Ajit C B

•Nov 21, 2017

Great course, just felt that the last quiz was a bit redundant.

By Stephen L

•May 11, 2018

The class was interesting but I felt it was difficult and not explained well...to do the modules I had to constantly go back and re-read the slides, re-watch the lectures. There weren't any examples, I feel it would have been helpful in order to grasp the material.

By Greg L

•Dec 11, 2017

Generally pretty good. Pretty easy level, and the maths is undemanding. Some imprecision in the wording of the tests, and a little too easy on the programming side, but well worthwhile if you still have some holes in your understanding of the principles of RSA encryption.

By Ivan L F

•Apr 08, 2018

Good material and presentation from the professors. Programming exercises were a bit confusing at times. Overall, short but mathematically solid course.

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