In this introductory textbook the author explains the key topics in cryptography. He takes a modern approach, where defining what is meant by "secure" is as important as creating something that achieves that goal, and security definitions are central to the discussion throughout. The author balances a largely non-rigorous style - many proofs are sketched only - with appropriate formality and depth. For example, he uses the terminology of groups and finite fields so that the reader can understand both the latest academic research and "real-world" documents such as application programming interface descriptions and cryptographic standards. The text employs colour to distinguish between public and private information, and all chapters include summaries and suggestions for further reading. This is a suitable textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in computer science, mathematics and engineering, and for self-study by professionals in information security. While the appendix summarizes most of the basic algebra and notation required, it is assumed that the reader has a basic knowledge of discrete mathematics, probability, and elementary calculus. von Smart, Nigel
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Nigel P. Smart is a professor of computer science in the University of Bristol. He is a leading cryptographer, with particular expertise in elliptic curve cryptography, pairing-based cryptography, and multi-party computation. Among his achievements and recognition, he received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, he is currently the Vice President of the International Association for Cryptologic Research (IACR), and he has chaired the most important academic conferences in this discipline. Beyond his academic experience he also worked in industry (HP Laboratories), and he has cofounded a number of startups, most recently Dyadic Security, a company that deploys distributed cryptographic solutions based on multi-party computations. Prof. Smart was made a Fellow of the IACR in 2016 for essential contributions to the theory and practice of real-world cryptography and outstanding service to the association.