Secret Codes & Online Security

GEN ST 162

Security breaches in communications — which can range from personal identity theft to large-scale interference in elections — are very much in the public eye today. Because the challenges surrounding this subject are so complex, experts from many different fields contribute to the study of security issues.

Course Curriculum and Features

In this course, we’ll explore areas such as mathematics, including an introduction to the number theory and graph theory of secret codes; computer science, including the running times of algorithms and design of protocols; history, including World War II cryptography and the development of commercial cryptography in the computer age; and public policy, including topics relating to cybersecurity, cybercrime, privacy, the role of the National Security Administration, bitcoin, and the smart grid.

The math and computer science component of the course will include hands-on computation projects and recreational cryptography exercises. You’ll also take a field trip to the Microsoft campus.

Designed For

Those with any level of interest in the topic; there are no prerequisites or other requirements.


Neal Koblitz
Professor, Department of Mathematics

Dates & Times

Aug 21–Sep 14, 2018

UW Seattle
9 a.m.–11:30 a.m.