The two primary references, and a book recommendation

1. W. Diffie and M. E. Hellman, New directions in cryptography , IEEE Transactions on Information Theory IT-22 (1976), 644-654.

2. L. M. Adelman, R. L. Rivest and A. Shamir, A method for obtaining digital signatures and public-key cryptosystems , Communications of the ACM , 21 (1978), 120-126. (It made its way into the public domain the previous year)


If you don't already know of it - or do, but don't yet have a copy - then seek out In Code ( A Mathematical Journey ) by remarkable young Irish woman Sarah Flannery, and her co-author father David Flannery (mathematician, and teacher extraordinaire). Check out (rave) reviews at the MAA and AMS web sites.

Contact details 

After August 31st 2007 please use the following Gmail address: jbcosgrave at

This page was last updated 18 February 2005 15:08:22 -0000