ISA 863: Cryptography

Catalog Description

Current topics of advanced research. Content varies depending on faculty interests, research developments, and student demand. Requires substantial student participation. May include formal models for computer security, multilevel data models, multilevel database management system architectures, secure concurrency control protocols, distributed secure system architectures, integrity models and mechanisms, security policy, and requirements analysis.

This Class

This is a graduate introduction to Cryptography at the graduate level.

The students are expected to know network protocols and be able to analyze them.

The class will consist of 14 lectures. The student is expected to read ahead and attend lectures.

General Expectation:

Cryptography is a theoretical subject that requires a background in cyber security, protocols, number theory, probability and complexity theory. Although required aspects will be described in class, taking this class without mathematical maturity is not advised.

Class Time:

Monday 4.30-7.10 pm

Class Room:

Lecture Hall 3


Duminda Wijesekera (dwijesek AT gmu DOT edu), 703-993-5030 or 703-993-5030

Office Hours:

Research Hall 436, M, W 7.30-8.30 or by appointment


No TA. The instructor will grade all assignments. 


No textbook required. Reading material will be pointed to or made available through the Blackboard.


ISA 562, ISA 656 or permission of the instructor


The class will have 5-6 homework and a term project. 

The term project will have a mid-term presentation and a final presentation. 

Homework will count for 50-60% of the grade (depending on if the class will have 5 or 6 homework assignments) and the project will count for the rest.

Preliminary Syllabus

  1. Introductory Cryptography at the level of Oded Goldreich’s book (not required).
  2. Zero-knowledge proofs
  3. Homomorphic cryptography and their applications


See the blackboard