Ring theory, via coding theory and cryptography

In these notes on ring theory, I tried to cover enough material to get a feeling for basic ring theory, via cyclic codes and ring-based cryptosystems such as NTRU. Here’s a list of the topics.

1 Introduction to rings
1.1 Definition of a ring
1.2 Integral domains and fields
1.3 Ring homomorphisms and ideals
1.4 Quotient rings
1.5 UFDs
1.6 Polynomial rings
1.6.1 Application: Shamir’s Secret Sharing Scheme
1.6.2 Application: NTRU
1.6.3 Application: Modified NTRU
1.6.4 Application to LFSRs

2 Structure of finite fields
2.1 Cyclic multiplicative group
2.2 Extension fields
2.3 Back to the LFSR

3 Error-correcting codes
3.1 The communication model
3.2 Basic definitions
3.3 Binary Hamming codes
3.4 Coset leaders and the covering radius
3.5 Reed-Solomon codes as polynomial codes
3.6 Cyclic codes as polynomial codes
3.6.1 Reed-Solomon codes as cyclic codes
3.6.2 Quadratic residue codes
3.6.3 BCH bound for cyclic codes
3.6.4 Decoding cyclic codes
3.6.5 Cyclic codes and LFSRs

4 Lattices
4.1 Basic definitions
4.2 The shortest vector problem
4.2.1 Application to a congruential PKC
4.3 LLL and a reduced lattice basis
4.4 Hermite normal form
4.5 NTRU as a lattice cryptosystem

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