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2017 Cryptography and Number Theory Boot Camp NSF-REU

Hosted by the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), with support provided by the National Science Foundation (Grant DMS-1501404)

Front row: C. M. King, K. Tademy
Back row: D. Hernández, M. El-Kishky, D. Jenkins, A. Agüero, A. Linson, E. Salcido, E. Witt

Our REU ran from May 29 - June 30, 2017. This intensive program focused on elementary number theory and abstract algebra, and their applications to mathematical cryptography, the study of making and breaking codes.   This includes the use of elliptic curves.   We designed a cryptosystem, and researched attacks on it.


Course assistant

  • Angel Agüero, University of Texas at El Paso
  • Participants

    Participants received a stipend of $2000 for the five-week program, along with additional travel funds.   Housing on the UTEP campus was also be provided for non-local participants.

    Application information

    Requirements: Participants must be motivated and hard-working undergraduate students who are passionate about mathematics.   Applicants should successfully complete an undergraduate course in linear algebra before the program begins.   Those who have also taken a modern algebra or number theory course will be especially prepared, although this is not a requirement.

    Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, and must not have received their bachelor's degree before the start of the summer program.   Women and students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

    Program expectations: The REU program is a full-time position, and students are required to work on mathematics exercises and research for approximately 40 hours a week.   Participants will work as a team throughout the program.   All participants are required to attend the entire program.

    As part of the mathematical research, program participants will carry out complex computations by using SAGE.   Students will write a final report, using LaTeX to typeset mathematics.