Cover image for Cryptological mathematics
Cryptological mathematics
Lewand, Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Mathematical Society of America, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 199 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QA109 .L38 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This is an introduction to the mathematics involved in the intriguing field of cryptology, the science of writing and reading secret messages which are designed to be read only by their intended recipients. It is written at an elementary level, suitable for beginning undergraduates, with careful explanations of all the concepts used. The basic branches of mathematics required, including number theory, abstract algebra and probability, are used to show how to encipher and decipher messages, and why this works, giving a practical as well as theoretical basis to the subject. Challenging computer programming exercises are also included. The book is written in an engaging style which will appeal to all, and also includes historical background on some of the founders of the subject. It will be of interest both to students wishing to learn cryptology per se, and also to those searching for practical applications of seemingly abstract mathematics.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Lewand (Goucher College) introduces basic techniques and underlying mathematics of cryptology. The reader is provided with an overview of how to encrypt a message to send to another as well as being introduced to some basic techniques for deciphering coded messages. Cryptological techniques discussed range from the simple method of merely permuting the alphabet to a very accessible discussion of the RSA Public Key Encryption Code. Along the way, the reader is introduced to the mathematics underlying these coding theories, including elementary discussions of number theory, matrix algebra, combinatorics, and probability theory. The material is completely self-contained: any mathematics used in the various cryptology schemes is fully explained prior to its use, a feature that, together with the author's informal writing style, would make this an ideal resource for a topics course in mathematics that assumes no prerequisite beyond general mathematical knowledge. Although certainly not an exhaustive treatise on the subject of cryptology, Lewand offers an accessible introduction that will certainly prompt some readers to further study of this topic. General readers; undergraduates. D. S. Larson Gonzaga University

Table of Contents

1 Monoalphabetic substitution ciphers
2 Polyalphabetic substitution ciphers
3 Polygraphic substitution ciphers
4 Public key cryptography