Applied Elementary Number Theory


Math 1020 is offered by the University of Pittsburgh Math Department, Fall 2016.

This is a one-semester introductory course in number theory and its applications. Number theory is one of the oldest and most fundamental branches of mathematics. This course will give an overview of both algebraic and analytic aspects of number theory, including basic results on the distribution of prime number, reciprocity laws, Diophantine equations, elliptic curves, zeta functions, and L-function. Some applications of number theory to cryptography will be discussed.

The course is designed for upper level undergraduate students who have completed a course in abstract algebra.


MoWe 4:00-5:15pm, 103 Alexander J. Allen Hall, 8/29/2016- 12/09/2016.


Thomas Hales, Thackeray 416, LASTNAME@pitt.edu.

Office Hours

Wednesday 2-3pm (in Thackeray) and immediately after class (Allen).


Hiruni Pallage (MAC office hours, Tuesday 9-10, Thursday 9-10, Friday 9-10, Friday 1-3)


Math 0430.


A Classical Introduction to Modern Number Theory, 2nd edition  (MNT), Kenneth Ireland and Michael Rosen, Springer.  The text is on reserve at Benedum.


Your course grade will be based on the following components

  • Weekly homework  1/3
  • Midterm exam          1/3
  • Final exam             1/3

Late Homework policy

Late homework will be penalized 20%.  Homework late by a week or more will be penalized 30%.  Exceptions will be rarely granted.

Course Page

The  official course page (wordpress)

Homework, announcements, and other materials related to the course will be posted there.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an
accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor
and the Office of Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt
Union, 412-648-7890/412-383-7355 (TTY), as early as possible in the
term. Disability Resources and Services will verify your disability and
determine reasonable accommodations for this course.

Academic Integrity

Cheating/plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students suspected of
violating the University of Pittsburgh Policy on Academic Integrity,
from the February 1974 Senate Committee on Tenure and Academic Freedom
reported to the Senate Council, will be required to participate in the
outlined procedural process as initiated by the instructor. A minimum
sanction of a zero score for the quiz or exam will be imposed.

Email Policy

Each student is issued a University e-mail address (username@pitt.edu)
upon admittance. This e-mail address may be used by the University for
official communication with students. Students are expected to read e-mail
sent to this account on a regular basis. Failure to read and react to
University communications in a timely manner does not absolve the student
from knowing and complying with the content of the communications. The
University provides an e-mail forwarding service that allows students
to read their e-mail via other service providers (e.g., Hotmail, AOL,
Yahoo). Students that choose to forward their e-mail from their pitt.edu
address to another address do so at their own risk. If e-mail is lost as
a result of forwarding, it does not absolve the student from responding
to official communications sent to their University e-mail address.
To forward e-mail sent to your University account, go to
Pitt accounts, log into your account, click on Edit Forwarding Addresses, and follow the instructions on the page. Be sure to log out of your account when you have finished.
(For the full E-mail Communication Policy, go to Pitt policies.)

Classroom Recording

To ensure the free discussion of ideas, students may not record classroom lectures or discussions without the advance written permission of the instructor. Approved recordings can be used solely for the student’s private use.