Cryptography deals with data security and integrity. Regardless of who is involved, all parties in a transaction must have confidence that certain objectives associated with information security have been met. Among these objectives are privacy, data integrity, identification, signature, authorization, validation, access control, witnessing, receipt, and confirmation. Achieving information security in an electronic society requires a vast array of technical and legal skills. With the information processing and telecommunications revolutions well underway, there is an increasing demand for techniques for keeping information secret, for determining that information has not been tampered with, and for determining the author of the information. There is, however, no guarantee that all of the information security objectives deemed necessary can be adequately met. The technical means is provided through cryptography.
Cryptographic techniques are currently being utilized in the following areas: Secure electronic mail, The Internet, Home banking, Internet browsers, Electronic cash, Credit card transactions, Instant teller banking, Wholesale banking, Pagers, Cellular telephones, Smart cards, Fax encryption, Modems, Secure telephones, Cable TV and pay-per-view.
Many new ideas have been invented in the last two decades, which have exciting applications in computer systems, telecommunications systems (Internet security, mobile communications), and payment systems. Important aspect is the efficient implementation in both software and hardware of cryptographic primitives and the security evaluation of components and systems including smart cards. Especially Public -key cryptography which has emerged in the last 25 years, is not only the subject of an enormous amount of research, but provides the foundation for information security in many applications. Public-key cryptographic techniques are now in wide spread use in industry, especially in financial services industry and by individuals for their personal privacy in communication. On the other hand public-key algorithms and protocols are based on sophisticated mathematics such as computational and algorithmic algebraic geometry, coding theory, and generic algorithms for finite abelian groups.
Objectives of the Program
The Cryptography Group (CG) of IAM conducts research in areas such as design, evaluation, and implementation of cryptographic algorithms and protocols. CG's theoretical work on cryptographic algorithms and protocols are based on discrete mathematics. The major focus of the research will be in applied and theoretic cryptography. CGs research areas can be broadly categorized as follows: Design and analysis of pseudorandom sequences, Elliptic and Hyperelliptic curve cryptography, Computational number theory, Coding theory, Computational methods in quadratic fields, algorithms for finite abelian groups. In view of the research interest of the cryptography group, the objectives of the Cryptography Graduate Program can be summarized as follows:
Organization of the Program
- To conduct a graduate program leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Cryptography
- To provide a mathematical treatment to the practical aspects of conventional and public-key cryptography.
- To introduce mathematical tools for serious practitioner in need of the latest techniques and algorithms.
- To evolve into an internationally recognized center for research in cryptography and related areas of information security
The Cryptography Program offers both Master of Science (M.Sc) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. The M.Sc. program has Thesis and Non-Thesis options. M.Sc. Thesis option consists of seven courses, a seminar course and a Master's Thesis. Among these seven courses, five of them are must courses and two of them are electives. M.Sc. Non-Thesis option consists of ten courses, a seminar course and a Term Project. Among these ten courses, five of them are must courses and five of them are electives.
University graduates of any discipline who are willing to acquire expertise in Cryptography are natural candidates for the program Admission procedure will be implemented according to the Rules and Regulations concerning Graduate Studies of Middle East Technical University. The selection will be done by considering the success of the student in the field she/he has graduated, the result of the ALES examination (Graduate Education Examination), English Proficiency and the results of written examination and/or interview to be given by the Institute of Applied Mathematics. A letter explaining the goals of the candidate and at least three recommendation letters are also required for the admission.
The Cryptography program has a Deficiency Program for those students whose backgrounds do not fulfill to follow up its graduate program.
- Basic Mathematics for Cryptography
- IAM 501 Introduction to Cryptography (3-0)3
- IAM 502 Stream Ciphers (3-0)3
- IAM 503 Applications of Finite Fields (3-0)3
- IAM 504 Public Key Cryptography (3-0)3
- IAM 512 Block Ciphers (3-0)3
- IAM 589 Term Project (0-2)NC
- IAM 590 Graduate Seminar (0-2)NC
- IAM 500 M.S. Thesis (Non-credit)
If a student has already taken some of the courses listed above (or their equivalents), he/she will take elective courses to replace them.
M.Sc. Program-Thesis Option
- 5 core courses
- 2 elective courses
- 1 seminar course(non-credit)
- M.Sc. Thesis(non-credit)
Total : 21 credits
M.Sc. Program-Non-Thesis Option
- 5 core courses
- 5 elective courses
- 1 seminar course(non-credit)
- Term Project(non-credit)
Total : 30 credits