MCS Seminar Posted on September 17th, 2004 by

Intro to Cryptography: The Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange
Andrew Shallue

Wednesday, September 22, 2004 at 11:30am in Olin 320

Cryptography, the art of codes and codebreaking, has existed for
as long as humans have wished to communicate and keep that communication
secure from eavesdroppers. Since the invention of computers, number
theoretic functions and algorithms have played a more important part in
cryptography and turned it into a mathematical field of study.
In this talk we’ll explore the mathematical aspects of
cryptography through the introduction of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange
protocol and it’s implementation over two groups, namely the
multiplicative group of a finite field and the group of points of an
elliptic curve. The security of the protocol relies on the difficulty of
solving the discrete logarithm problem over these groups, a famous problem
from number theory.
This talk will be accessible to undergrads, and is designed as an
introduction to a field noted for its application of very theoretical

Refreshments will be served.

Andrew Shallue is a Gustuvus Alumnus ’00 and is currently a graduate
student in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin,

For the MCS seminar schedule see

If you or someone you know is interested in giving a talk this year,
contact David Wolfe at or San Skulrattanakulchai at


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