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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Number Theory and Cryptography by University of California San Diego

512 ratings
110 reviews

About the Course

We all learn numbers from the childhood. Some of us like to count, others hate it, but any person uses numbers everyday to buy things, pay for services, estimated time and necessary resources. People have been wondering about numbers’ properties for thousands of years. And for thousands of years it was more or less just a game that was only interesting for pure mathematicians. Famous 20th century mathematician G.H. Hardy once said “The Theory of Numbers has always been regarded as one of the most obviously useless branches of Pure Mathematics”. Just 30 years after his death, an algorithm for encryption of secret messages was developed using achievements of number theory. It was called RSA after the names of its authors, and its implementation is probably the most frequently used computer program in the word nowadays. Without it, nobody would be able to make secure payments over the internet, or even log in securely to e-mail and other personal services. In this short course, we will make the whole journey from the foundation to RSA in 4 weeks. By the end, you will be able to apply the basics of the number theory to encrypt and decrypt messages, and to break the code if one applies RSA carelessly. You will even pass a cryptographic quest! As prerequisites we assume only basic math (e.g., we expect you to know what is a square or how to add fractions), basic programming in python (functions, loops, recursion), common sense and curiosity. Our intended audience are all people that work or plan to work in IT, starting from motivated high school students. Do you have technical problems? Write to us:

Top reviews

Jul 31, 2020

I loved this course! It is unlike any I have taken before. All courses in this specialization have always included fun activities to make the taught content fun and understandable.

Nov 21, 2018

I was really impressed especially with the RSA portion of the course. It was really well explained, and the programming exercise was cleverly designed and implemented. Well done.

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101 - 109 of 109 Reviews for Number Theory and Cryptography

By Matthew W

Dec 2, 2017

The quiz from the RSA segment is a drag. The reason is that I don't see the implementation of the "given" functions and debugging via the text box provided is annoying. The first 3 segments are well prepared and have enough information for someone like me to pursuit this topic further.

By Ingrid Z

Jul 28, 2020

Last chapter was way too challenging compared to the previous ones. I had a really tough time with the assignments. Otherwise, a very nice course !

By Shubham U

Apr 29, 2020

The instructor sometimes rushed through the content.

By Ho W J

Jul 7, 2020

Tough course for non-math

By Ishrar C

May 17, 2020

needs more examples for the theorems. they emphasize on the proofs more than making us understand the theorems. otherwise, okay.

By 김한아

Jan 10, 2021

This module was the worst module in the whole specialization course. Lack of example, non-clear explanation, variables that are difficult to understand, weird way of abstracting the explanation. it feels like instructor abstract in a way that only to take student already have pre-knowledge to understand the course.

During the Euclid, It took me 4h on keep watching the videos and I found a single page that explained to me in 2 min.

Even I don't get the certificate for specialization I am not going to finish this module. From my experience, this Is a very good module that makes a person to hate to learn about number theory and cryptography

During the course, I thought only I was the one who doesn't understand what the instructors says but looking at the review I noted that it is not the case

By Charlene T

Oct 16, 2020

This was a pretty rough course, Michael Levin knows his stuff but his style of charging straight through everything with variables didn't work for me so I would catch the title of the lesson and head straight over to YouTube. Examples of the concepts in action where the instructor interacts with the screen instead of just talking over powerpoint slides would be great because the content is legit but the instruction could stand a boost or two

By Shubham C

Jul 30, 2020

After few lecture this course is just slides reading and no proper explanation.

By Samuel R S

Jun 18, 2018

very confusing explanations. had to look up everything elsewhere.